5 November 2010

Salmon Roll Starter

Wanting to keep the Saturday dinner party Autumnal, I decided to so something with Caviar of Kalix. This is a delicacy called löjrom in Swedish and is produced in the region of Kalix in the far North of Sweden.

And searching for interesting recipes, I stumbled across this one. It is a roll made of gravlax and the caviar is placed on the side. Seemed pretty nice and could also be made up to 3 days in advance, so that would be one thing less to do on the day.


The recipe claims to be for 12 people, but it's nearer 15 portions, so the number of slices may need to be adjusted.


3 leaves gelatine
450 g thinly sliced gravad lax
3 dl créme fraîche
300 g strained Greek yoghurt
3 tbsp grated horseradish
3 tbsp chopped chives
4 tbsp chopped dill
salt and pepper
12 slices bread
60 g rocket salad
15 g chives
dill for decoration
250 g Caviar of Kalix

  1. Soak the gelatine in some water.

  2. Place a long (70 cm) piece of cling film onto the work surface, then lay the slices of salmon so that they cover a rectangle of 20 x 50 cm. Make sure there's a good amount of overlap so everything holds together.

  3. In a bowl, whisk together the créme fraîche, yoghurt, horseradish, herbs, salt and pepper.

  4. Squeeze out the gelatine and melt it on low heat, then stir into the herb mixture.

  5. Spread the herb mixture over the salmon, leaving a cm uncovered along one of the 50 cm edges.

  6. Now pick up the cling film from the other side and roll it up like a Swiss roll, so you end up with a 50 cm long sausage. It'll be fairly runny, so try to roll as tightly as possible.

  7. Place in the fridge to set.

  8. When ready to serve, toast the bread and cut out circles of about the same diameter as the salmon roll.

  9. Chop together the rocket and chives

  10. Place a toast circle on each plate, then cut up the salmon sausage about 5 cm thick and place on top of the toast. Decorate around it with the rocket mixture and the caviar and add a small sprig of dill on top and serve.

I had massive trouble rolling things up and then it sort of kept going flat, so I ended up rolling baking paper around it in the hopes of giving some stability. It did, but not much.

I also ended up using 400 g of the salmon, so during rolling the filling came through here and there, so the remainder was used for patching up just before serving. The roll didn't set very hard, so could be re-shaped during plating. Or so I thought. I could just about slice the roll, but a lot of the cream mixture just kept coming out and all I could do was just about place it on my pieces of toast. Which I couldn't cut into circles, as I didn't have a cutter, so they became triangular instead.

So, once again I botched up gelatine work, I should have used a lot more. See, the original recipe states ricotta cheese, which perhaps is stiff enough so that 3 leaves of gelatine are enough, but as Lundulph won't eat cheese, I swapped it for strained Greek yoghurt and so I should have adjusted the gelatine. Perhaps I should have used mascarpone instead, which is pretty stiff and is acceptable to Lundulph as he doesn't believe it really is cheese.

When it comes to rolling, a cm should be left free of the mixture along both long sides of the salmon rectangle. One of them should then be folded over the mixture and then the whole lot should be rolled. This way, you won't end up with lots of mixture in the middle of the roll and lots of salmon on the outside and it'll look esthetically more pleasing, like a real roll.

Now I tried some of the caviar on it's own and although it didn't feel too fishy for me, it was still not something I'd eat, but combined with the salmon and the creamy mixture and the toast, this was a perfect flavour match, most likely made in heaven.

As you can see from the photo, my plating leaves a lot to be desired, I ended up with some sort of sad/angry clown face, very far from what the picture in the original recipe looked like.

One of my guests doesn't actually eat fish and so I decided to fry some halloumi cheese for her on a bed of rocket, pea shoots and colourful cherry tomatoes. When I spotted them in the shop, they made me smile.


I realise just now that I completely forgot to dress her salad and it must have been terribly dry to eat, she was so very polite not to complain. I'm ashamed, there is no excuse for such forgetfulness.

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