I’m back from my Christmas breather to share with you a couple of recipes for New Year’s Eve. Now, these are not for party planners or people expecting a crowd of 50. No, what I have in store for you is a chill but luxurious New Year’s menu for two. You could accommodate up to four if necessary but I did envision this menu as a sort of at-home date night. Consequently, all the dishes are fairly romantic and require very little fuss to serve the day of. No one wants to be stranded at the dinner table as their date fiddles with something in the kitchen. Undivided attention is what we’re after and that all starts with this Smoked Salmon Tartare.
Steak tartare is the stuff of quiet, cozy corners in romantic French bistros. It’s not generally something you encounter in someone’s home. I suppose the fear of working with raw meat tends to keep home chefs at bay. So the easy solution, use smoked or cured salmon. You get the feel of classic tartare without having to live in fear of giving your date food poisoning. For the record, I do think you can safely prepare steak tartare at home. Just visit a reputable butcher and tell them exactly what you’re up to. But sometimes you just want to be chill about the whole thing and skip the extra leg work. And if that’s where you’re at this New Year’s Eve this Smoked Salmon Tartare is for you. So let’s break this dish down.
Now, I mentioned this dish asks very little of you the day of. So let’s pretend we’ve made it to December 30th and we’re about to embark on our prep for the date ahead. There are two things relating to the tartare that we can swiftly get out of the way. The first is the confit egg yolks. This is a fairly simple and hands-off process that involves cooking the egg yolks in fat in a low-temperature oven for anywhere from 30-60 minutes depending on how set you would like your yolks to be.
I like a runny yolk in almost every egg dish, so I confited my egg yolks at 180°F for 40 minutes. Now, you also have options when it comes to the fat you use. Confit just means to cook slowly in fat, and that fat can be anything from cooking oil to animal fat. The most famous confit dish, duck confit, obviously uses duck fat to cook duck. But when it comes to egg yolks, you can use duck fat or olive oil, or bacon grease. Basically, you can use whatever you have a surplus of. I went with olive oil to keep things pescatarian and I flavored the oil with a few strips of lemon zest. Bonus! If you follow my lead, you get some lemon confit out of the deal as well.
Once your egg yolks are confited, leave them in the oil and transfer them to the fridge. You can store them, immersed in oil, for a week at least. So yeah, you can get these out of the way whenever you have a spare moment in the week leading up. Now, let’s shift our focus to the crostini. I prefer to make the crostini after I take care of the egg yolks because I like to use that tasty lemon-infused olive oil to dress them. Making crostini is the easiest thing you’ll ever do. All you have to do is arrange baguette slices on a baking sheet, drizzle them with oil, and sprinkle them with salt. They take 10 minutes in a 400°F oven and store beautifully in a resealable container.
Okay, we’ve arrived at the main event. So what do you need to do on the 31st? Well, a little whisking, stirring, and plating. Basically, you’re going to use one of those egg yolks you so beautifully confited as the base for your tartare’s dressing. Then you’re going to finely chop some parsley, avocado, and of course, smoked salmon and toss that into the goodness you whipped up. And then, it’s time to plate. If this step stresses you out, I get it. But believe me, the presentation may look elaborate but it’s fairly simple to pull off.
Basically, if you own egg rings, you can expertly plate this Smoked Salmon Tartare. Just pack your tartare into the ring, press it flat, and remove the ring. Now, here is the tricky part. You have to transfer the egg from the oil to the surface of the tartare. And if you followed my lead and cooked your egg yolks to quite a runny consistency, this will be a little tricky. The yolks will be delicate and easy to puncture, so go slow. Once the egg yolk is secure, you can decorate your Smoked Salmon Tartare to your heart’s content. I topped mine with ribbons of the lemon zest I confited, daikon microgreens, fresh parsley, and Shichimi tōgarashi.
So that’s everything you need to know about this Smoked Salmon Tartare with Confit Egg Yolks. Round out the meal with a simple salad, and of course, a bottle of your favorite bubbly. I will be back with a sweet ending for this romantic at-home date night in a few days.
Smoked Salmon Tartare with Confit Egg Yolks
- egg rings
- Small baking dish
Confit Egg Yolks
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1 lemon zest removed in strips
- Olive oil to cover
- 1 baguette cut into thin slices
- 2 tbsp olive oil from the Confit Egg Yolks
- 1 tsp kosher salt
Smoked Salmon Tartare
- 1 batch Confit Egg Yolks see above
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp whole-grain Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 250g (9oz) smoked salmon finely chopped
- 2 tbsp capers drained and finely chopped
- 1 shallot finely diced
- 1 avocado finely diced
- ¼ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley finely chopped
- daikon microgreens
- fresh parsley leaves
- Shichimi tōgarashi
For the Confit Egg Yolks
- Preheat the oven to 180°F.
- Pour enough olive oil into a small baking vessel to fill it up halfway. Add the lemon zest and the egg yolks. Add more olive oil if needed to ensure everything is fully immersed.3 large egg yolks, 1 lemon, Olive oil
- Place the baking vessel in the oven and cook for 40-50 minutes depending on how set you want the yolks to be. **
- Take the yolks out of the oven and let them cool to room temperature before transferring the yolks, oil, and all to the fridge.
For the Crostini
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Arrange the baguette slices on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle them with the confit oil and sprinkle with the salt.1 baguette, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp kosher salt
- Place the crostini in the oven and bake for 10 minutes or until golden. Let cool on the pan before transferring to a resealable container.
For the Tartare
- Place one confit egg yolk in a large bowl and add the olive oil, mustard, and lemon juice. Whisk to combine.1 batch Confit Egg Yolks, 3 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp whole-grain Dijon mustard, 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Add the salmon, capers, shallot, avocado, and parsley. Gently stir to combine.250g (9oz) smoked salmon, 2 tbsp capers, 1 shallot, 1 avocado, ¼ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
- Pack the tartare into 2 egg rings placed on top of small plates. Overfill the egg ring and compress the tartar into them to ensure they are absolutely packed. Remove the rings and top the tartare with the remaining egg yolks.
- Cut a piece of the confit lemon zest into ribbons and add them to the tartare along with the daikon microgreens, parsley, and a sprinkling of shichimi tōgarashi. Serve immediately alongside the crostini and bubbly.daikon microgreens, fresh parsley leaves, Shichimi tōgarashi