Chronicles of the Salmon Cornet, Part 1

July 14, 2008

Feeling inspired (which I discovered is a combination of being bored, hungry, and most importantly, unemployed), I decided to embark on a mission–reconstruct those divine little “salmon cornets” which alongside his “oysters & pearls,” have become Thomas Keller’s signature dish at The French Laundry and Per Se. Doing a quick search online, I quickly came across this article and promptly hit the grocery store to make sure I had all the ingredients. I learnt that making these babies is a two-step process that would span more than 1 day: first the cones, which are left to sit for up to 2 days to maximize flavor, then the salmon filling, which is best served fresh. 

Above is my first attempt at the first step, and if you think the cornets look sad, it’s because they are. For those who wish to follow the above recipe, learn from my mistakes:

  • Don’t try to be a hero as I did and not use a stencil to create the circular cornets. I skipped this part and paid the price: cornets much too thick and heavy, hence their old-lady-booby droopy sadness (if you catch my drift).
  • Cut back on the butter, as these were much too oily. Even when left to cool and dry outside the oven, they did not turn crisp and flaky.
Slightly annoyed, I went online again to figure out where I went wrong. I came across Chubby Hubby’s heroic attempt and learnt that Phoebe Damrosch, former staff member at Per Se, also messed up her first attempt as she too skipped out on using the stencil to create the circular cornets. Damn stencils.

Tomorrow is another day, with hopefully, better results. Stay tuned!

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