Corn Flan with Smoked Salmon and Herbed Potato Chips
Corn is a popular vegetable among young American chefs, because of its indigenous roots and also because of its versatility. In this recipe, a corn custard is served in an egg shell and topped with smoked salmon.
- Corn Flan
- Corn kernels - 1/4 cup fresh or frozen
- Chicken Stock - 1 cup
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 1/2 cup
- Kosher salt - 1/2 teaspoon
- Eggs - 12 large
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Salmon Topping
- Butter - 1 tablespoon
- Reserved corn kernels from flan - Above
- Reserved stock from flan - 1/4 cup, above
- Smoked salmon - 4 oz, cut into thin slivers
- Chives - 1/4 cup, snipped fresh
- Coriander seeds - 1 tablespoon, lightly crushed
- Cumin - 1/4 teaspoon, ground
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 6 Herbed Potato Chips (recipe follows) - (alt. 12 toast triangles for garnish)
- Herbed Potato Chips
- Unpeeled baking potato - 1 large
- Olive Oil - 2 tablespoons
- Chives - 6 whole stems, plus 1 tablespoon snipped fresh chives
To make the flan: Into each of 2 small saucepans, place half of the corn kernels. Add the stock to one of the pans and the cream and salt to the other. Place both pans over medium heat and poach the kernels for 4 to 5 minutes. Set aside.
Remove a small circle from the small end of each eggshell with an egg cutter. Empty two of the eggs into a medium bowl, and the remaining eggs into a container with a lid; reserve these 10 eggs in the refrigerator for another use. Clean the edges of the eggshells of any shell fragments and set them in a cardboard egg carton that has been placed into a deep baking pan.
Preheat the oven to 325 F. Strain the corn from the stock and add about 1/2 cup of the stock to the corn and cream mixture; reserve the remaining stock. Puree the corn and cream in a blender or food processor, then slowly pour the hot liquid into the eggs, whisking constantly. Strain the mixture and extract all of the juices from the kernels; reserve the kernels. Pour the strained mixture into a small pitcher and carefully fill the eggshells three-fourths full. Pour 1 inch of boiling water into the baking pan, cover the pan with aluminum foil, and place the eggshells in the oven to bake until set, about 45 minutes. Or, place the baking pan over a medium-low burner and simmer on top of the stove for about 15 minutes.
To make the salmon topping: In a small saute pan or skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and add the reserved corn kernels and about 1/4 cup of the reserved stock. Add the salmon, chives, coriander, and cumin, tossing just until heated through. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
To serve: Place each eggshell in an egg cup and spoon some of the salmon topping into each shell. Serve each with an herbed potato chip or 2 toast triangles.
Herbed Potato Chips
Preheat the oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease it. On a mandoline or V-sliver, slice the potato lengthwise into 12 paper-thin slices. Place the slices on the prepared pan and brush the slices lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle the snipped chives over the potato slices and arrange one chive stem on each. Top with another slice of potato and brush again lightly with olive oil.
Cover the potatoes with a sheet of parchment paper and set another baking pan on top, or grease the bottom of a pan and place it on top. Bake until the potatoes are crisp and browned, about 20 minutes.
Note: Any mixture of herbs may be used to make these double-decker chips.