smoked salmon cones 
Coronets may be a little oldschool, but I’m a sucker for shapely finger food.  These fish cones are a little labor intensive, but totally worth it.  Plus, there’s something I love about toiling over the intricate details of hors d’oeuvres in anticipation of a party.  If you don’t have coronet molds lying around, you can use large pastry tips, or anything else cone-shaped to roll the parmesan crisps into a lovely conical form.

Makes: about 9 cones
Total kitchen time: 1 hour

Special equipment

Shopping list:

  • 1 lb. parmesan cheese, very finely shredded
  • 1/2 lb. lox (smoked salmon fillet)
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 2 tbsp. chives, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • crème fraîche, to garnish

 

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F and place the top rack in the middle of the oven. 
  2. Prepare the silplat on a baking sheet.  Place the pastry ring on the silplat and gently sprinkle with an even layer of the shredded parmesan.  The layer should only be thick enough so that there are no large holes.  Repeat, leaving at least 1” of space between circles.  You’ll probably have to make parmesan rounds in 2 batches.
  3. Lightly salt the parmesan rounds and bake for 5-7 minutes.  Keep a close eye on the rounds – once the cheese is completely melted and just barely starting to brown around the outer edges, remove the pan from the oven and rest it on the open oven door.  The heat from the door will keep the cheese soft and warm as you shape the rounds into cones.
  4. Working one by one, roll each round of cheese onto a coronet mold and place on a stack of paper towels to dry.  The cheese will be hot to touch, and you may want to use an offset spatula to help lift the first edge of cheese off the silplat.
  5. Once all of the cheese rounds have been formed onto the molds, let them rest for at least 10 minutes to cool.  Wipe any grease off the silplat, then return the cheesy molds to the baking sheet and bake 2-3 minutes more, until lightly browned.  Its important to keep the molds in for this step, otherwise your cones will deflate into triangles.  Place the cones on paper towels to drain until ready to serve.  Can be made the day before and refrigerated.
  6. Using a knife (not a food processor) finely chop the salmon lox.  In a large bowl, smash the butter with the back of a fork until it is lightly whipped.  Stir in the salmon, shallot, chives and lemon juice.  Can be made up to 4 hours ahead and covered and refrigerated.
  7. When you’re ready to serve, pipe the salmon mixture into the cones carefully using a pastry bag with a wide tip (or no tip at all).  The cones will be very fragile, so you may want to recruit a second pair of hands for this part of the operation.
  8. Finally, using a small, decorative tip, pipe a dollop of crème fraîche on top of the salmon.  Serve on a platter, or standing up on a plate full of holes!
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