TGRWT #15: Smoked Salmon & Dark Chocolate

One of our favorite food blogs, Khymos, runs a monthly event called "They Go Really Well Together." They pick two ingredients that aren't commonly used together -- but scientifically should be compatible -- and challenge bloggers to create a recipe featuring the pair. Here is our first foray into the unknown, featuring this month's pair: smoked salmon and dark chocolate.

Smoked Salmon Cigars with Dark Chocolate Mole

(2) 4.5oz packages Smoked Salmon
8oz whipped Cream Cheese
Lemon, with zest
Salt & Pepper
Phyllo dough
Butter, melted
Dark Chocolate Cocoa Powder

Combine cream cheese, lemon and zest. Salt and pepper to taste. Fill half sheets of phyllo dough with a strip of salmon and the cream cheese mixture, rolling dough into a cigar shape. Brush top of cigars with melted butter. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes, or until tops are lightly browned. Dust with cocoa powder.

Sesame Oil
Onion, diced
(6) cloves Garlic
3.5oz bar Dark Chocolate
28oz can Tomatoes
(6) dried Guajillo chiles
2tbs Pasilla chile powder
(10) Black Peppercorns
Mexican Oregano
Fresh Thyme
Fennel Seeds
Tortilla, shredded.

Saute onion in sesame oil. When translucent, add all other ingredients to taste. Simmer for at least 45 minutes. Strain if desired.

Shaved Dark Chocolate
Lemon Zest
Sesame Seeds
Sesame Oil infused with Chiles

Serve cigar in a pool of mole, and garnish as desired.


Surprisingly, this worked exceptionally well from a flavor standpoint, and looked terrific (despite photographic evidence to the contrary). I wanted to make sure that the two featured ingredients were, well, featured. While the dark chocolate was assertive but not overpowering in the fairly simple mole, I thought I needed to up the chocolate factor a bit. The the shavings provided little bursts of chocolaty flavor, but weren't a distraction. The salmon/cream cheese cigars had a fantastic taste and consistency. Note that the lemon adds a needed hit of acid and lightness, and the sesame/chile oil helped tie everything together.

The only knock on the dish was that the phyllo wrappers weren't quite crisp enough. Were I to make these again, I'd probably use a slightly higher temp on the cigars, crisp them in a skillet, or substitute egg roll wrappers or puff pastry. A crunchy wrapper would make this a real winner.


phildo said...

interesting twist with the mole. try salmon mole enchiladas with sour cream

Steve said...

Did the chocolate and salmon actually work together? It seems an odd combination, but I'm excited to try it.

GG said...

Very well -- go as dark as you can, though.

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