Smoked salmon is always a nice hors d'oeuvres to serve. I like to make them with thin crispy polenta instead of bread and add some pink peppercorns - that sweet fruity and slightly peppery taste just goes so well. —Maria Teresa Jorge
6 - 8
cornmeal or instant polenta
12 - 16
slices of smoked slamon (depends on the size)
In a heavy pan bring water and salt to a boil. Pour the cornmeal in a steady stream and whisk. Lower heat to low and cook the polenta so that it barely boils, whisking constantly. When it starts to thicken, use a wooden spoon and continue cooking for 45 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes until the polenta creates a crust in the pan and pulls away from the sides. If using pre-cooked polenta follow the instructions in the package.
Line a shallow baking tray with plastic film, spread the polenta to about 3/4 inches thick, cover with film and allow to cool completely.
Pre-heat the oven grill to very hot with rack in top shelf. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Cut the cold and firm polenta in triangles and put on the baking tray. Brush the polenta on both sides with olive oil and grill for 3 minutes on each side or until crispy and brown. Allow to cool.
Cut the smoked salmon in 3 by 3 inch sqaures (more or less) and make smalll rolls.
Cut the chives in very small pieces - a pair of kitchen scissors works wonders.
Top the grilled polenta with the salmon, add a teaspoon of thick cream, sprinkle the chives around the plate and pink peppercorns slightly crushed in your hands on top of the salmon and cream.
Serve with a lemon wedge, a glass of cold Champagne and enjoy.
Note: If you like, serve as a first course with some green salad.