This recipe of salmon filo parcels is so easy to make that it will become not only your show stopper starter, but also your favourite afternoon snack.
The only thing that you need to make in advance is the cucumber gin dressing, because the cucumbers need infusing. When I make it, I always prepare a glass of G&T for myself too, with the same ingredients. Try it. It will change the way you drink gin.
Of course, back home in Romania, there is not a long tradition in drinking G&T. We prefer wine, and the special plum brandy called ‘tzuica’. However, when we get ready to host a party for New Year’s Eve, a gin and tonic will always be on the drinks menu. It’s easy to make, light and…British.
When I moved to the UK, the ‘gin revolution’ was only at the beginning: small distilleries, artisan batches, new flavours. Then it all blossomed: pubs found an appealing niche market, some of them publishing gin bibles, or had gin menus featuring British gins served with rosemary, chilli flakes, strawberries or cucumber with black pepper. How exotic and exhilarating!
This recipe brings together old classic ingredients and combinations: salmon, cream cheese, cucumber. The gin dressing came as a no-brainer really.
1 packet filo pastry
200g cream cheese
200g cooked salmon (or smoked if you prefer)
100g melted butter
salt and pepper
A few hours ahead: make the cucumber with gin dressing. Thinly slice the cucumber (you can even use a spiraliser), add the gin, salt and pepper, making sure that all the ingredients are well mixed together. Leave aside to infuse.
Pre-heat the oven at 180C. Take a muffin tray and grease it with a bit of butter. Cut one sheet of filo pastry into 4, brush with generous amounts of butter, then arrange one on top of the other in a muffin form. Make sure you change the angle a bit, every time you add another quarter filo sheet on top, so you get more or less a star-shaped parcel.
Repeat the process until you fill all the forms, or as many as you wish to make.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. When ready, take out of the oven and leave to cool completely.
Fill the parcels: put 2 teaspoons pf cream cheese in each parcel. Add salmon on top, then add a bit of the cucumber mix. All in nice layers to give hight to the parcels.