Crispy Wonton and Salmon Napoleon with Parsley-Roasted Garlic Puree
Every now and again the Food Network decides to play a show that I cannot STAND... like anything with Sandra Lee. So when that happens, I usually switch over to PBS to see what cooking shows are playing on there. On one such day, I came across one of my favorite shows on PBS, "Simply Ming" with Ming Tsai. This particular episode featured his mother, Iris Tsai. The theme of the show was wonton wrappers and parsley. Sounds pretty basic, right? Well, it immediately grabbed my attention because I LOVE using wonton wrappers when making appetizers; they're just so fun to work with! The recipe I'm sharing with you today turned out to be absolutely delicious and even though it may LOOK like it was difficult and tedious to create... it really wasn't. If you prepare this recipe, you end up with an appetizer that presents beautifully on the plate and tastes so good you'll be looking for more... the mark of a really great appetizer in my opinion. So let's take a look at how this great appetizer is made...
First, roast up your garlic. To do this, just cut the tops off each head of garlic (so you can plainly see the flesh of each and every clove) and set them on a cookie sheet clove-side-up. Drizzle a little olive oil over them, then loosely wrap them up in aluminum foil. Place them in a 450 degree oven for about an hour. When they cool down enough to touch, just squeeze out the soft cloves of garlic. If you need more of a visual on the process of roasting garlic, check out the short video here: How to Roast Garlic from About.com While your garlic is roasting, go ahead and fry up your wonton wrappers. Just fry them up in a pan with canola oil. Keep a close eye on them... they turn golden brown fast. No walking away!
Once your roasted garlic is ready, get your mortar and pestle and smash and grind up the garlic and parsley with a pinch of salt until smooth.
Once you've created a good paste consistency, whisk in your soy sauce, lime juice and extra virgin olive oil. Alternatively, in a food processor, pulse together garlic and parsley with pinch of salt until smooth, then blend in soy sauce, lime juice and olive oil.
Now, get out your beautiful piece of salmon. We got ours at Whole Foods.
Slice the salmon into 1/2-inch strips, then season with salt and pepper.
In a sauté pan on medium heat coated lightly with oil, sear salmon for 1 minute, keeping the middle rare.
Plate by dolloping garlic puree in the center of the plate to anchor the crispy wonton.
Top wonton with 2 pieces of salmon, then dollop more garlic puree on salmon. Top with parsley leaves.
Build another layer repeating process. To finish, top wonton with puree, another piece of salmon, and garnish with parsley leaves.
Whew... just writing about this appetizer makes me wanna run out to Whole Foods, buy another piece of salmon, and make it again. It really is a wonderful tasting appetizer with great texture from the crispy wontons, a delicate mouth feel from the salmon, and a robust flavor that cuts through everything coming from that roasted garlic and parsley puree. If you like salmon at all, you will absolutely love this dish.