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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Smoked Salmon Tartines

Become a tartine maker and surprise impromptu guests by coming up with endless combinations of toppings at any given time that calls for drinks and a nibble of something a bit special. Their beauty lies in the softness of the bread, their visual appeal and the fact you can make them any size you like according to the ingredients you have on offer. Use your imagination and get tartine making!

A vital piece of equipment is a pasty cutter and better still if you happen to have one of those little tins of different sized pasty cutters – about ten to a tin. I usually choose the third smallest cutter. This is the best size to cut a tartine that fits perfectly in the mouth and so it becomes a delicate execution and one that pleases women who wear lipstick.

I always have bread in the freezer and there is always something in the fridge that is suitable to make an emergency tartine or two. Tartines, canapés and crostini are all part of the same family but tartines are made from bread while the others are not. Any variety of bread will do as long as it is fresh (frozen and thawed is okay) they can be lightly toasted and always lightly buttered so the bread does not become soggy. Make them in advance if you have time but be sure to cover them with foil and place in the fridge until ready to serve.

The tartines in the above photograph I made with fresh, white, sliced bread cut with a 3cm (1.5inch) cutter. Lightly toasted, lightly buttered, topped with a piece of smoked salmon, a blob of sour cream, a teaspoon of caviar and a sprig of mint. PERFECT!

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