Salmon Funny Fingers Coated in Toasted Bread Crumbs with Basil, Thyme and Lemon Zest
- 4 Fresh four ounce Salmon tail sections 1 baguette, bottom crust removed, and bread sliced into 3/8-inch cubes to yield 1 cup
- 1 tablespoons olive oil or melted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon extra fine Sea Salt1/4teaspoon lemon zest from
- 1/2 small lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- Flour for dusting
- Ranch Dressing, about half a cup to lightly coat all the Salmon pieces
- Slice off and discard the tough and often over-baked bottom crust
- Cut the trimmed loaf into 1 1/2-inch cubes, then pulse the cubes in a food processor to the desired crumb size
- Adjust oven rack to lower center position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Mix bread crumbs with oil and salt to coat evenly. Spread in single layer on small baking sheet. Bake crumbs, stirring once after 5 minutes, until golden brown, about 12 minutes. Stir herbs and lemon zest into toasted bread crumbs upon removing from oven.
- Cut Salmon Tail Section into 4 long finger-like pieces
- Cut a one inch piece off one of the short pieces of Salmon to make thumb and pinkie using other pieces from tail section to reassembly a full hand of fingers
- Lightly dust all the Salmon fingers and thumbs in flour
- Lightly coat in Ranch Dressing, making sure to have even coverage
- Roll Salmon fingers in seasoned bread crumbs, tapping off excess
- Saute in non-stick pan over medium heat till golden on both sides, about 4 minutes per side
- Arrange Salmon fingers by size, trying to recreate a human hand
- Serve on Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes that have been piped into the form of a large hand
- Top with slivered Almonds to resemble finger nails
To achieve the proper texture, it is important to cook the potatoes thoroughly; they are done if they break apart when a knife is inserted and gently wiggled. Buttermilk substitutes such as clabbered milk do not produce sufficiently tangy potatoes. To reduce the chance of curdling, the buttermilk must be at room temperature when mixed with cooled melted butter.
- 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted and cooled)
- 2/3 cup buttermilk at room temperature
- Extra fine Sea Salt
- Ground Black Pepper
- Place potatoes in large saucepan; add cold water to cover by 1 inch, and add 1 tablespoon salt. Bring to boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium and simmer until potatoes break apart when paring knife is inserted, about 18 minutes. Drain potatoes and return to saucepan set on still-hot burner.
- Using potato ricer, rice potatoes until only a few small lumps remain. Gently mix melted butter and buttermilk in small bowl until combined. Add butter/buttermilk mixture to potatoes; using rubber spatula, fold gently until just incorporated. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper; serve immediately.
For several years in the '80's, Tom Blix had a successful run as the co-owner and Executive Chef of The Bilbouquet Café in Calabasas, CA. Tom learned first as a young boy from his grandmother, and then from friends that are trained chefs. By the 90's, he switched restaurant gears to the front of the house, and since living here in Napa, Tom boasts a rich history in the local restaurant industry. From Maitre d'hotel at Auberge du Soleil for several years and General Manager of The Lark Creek Inn (Marin), to General Manager of Farm at The Carneros Inn, Tom has made a 35-year career out of learning and knowing all aspects of the restaurant business.
After leaving Farm last April, he and his wife Judy decided to embark on a solo venture, inspired by their own three year old daughter. They realized that life with their child, and their love for eating out, had collided. As a full-time Mom, Judy quickly found out how challenging it could be to mix the two, and thus, the seeds for The Little Gourmet began to grow. Like so many parents, she longed to go out and get healthy food for her child, and dreaded the inevitable dirty look if her daughter's table manners were less than perfect. In early May, Judy "pitched" her idea to Tom, and six months later, they opened The Little Gourmet, "A Kid's Restaurant that's Grown-up Friendly".