These are dressed-up latkes: a crisp base topped with smoked salmon, roasted red peppers (store-bought, to save time) and capers.
Make Ahead: The relish can be prepared and refrigerated up to 2 days in advance. The potato cakes can be made up to 1 1/2 hours before serving, then reheated briefly in a hot oven as guests arrive.
Yield: Makes eight 4-inch potato cakes
- For the relish
- 3 large store-bought roasted red peppers, drained and thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons capers, drained, patted dry and coarsely chopped
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon chopped thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 small clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- For the potato cakes
- 2 1/2 pounds russet potatoes
- 1/2 cup minced chives
- 1 tablespoon chopped thyme leaves
- 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 9 ounces smoked salmon
For the relish: Combine the roasted red peppers, capers, oil, vinegar, thyme, sugar, garlic, salt and pepper in a small container with a tight-fitting lid. Mix well, then cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
Up to 1 1/2 hours before serving, make the potato cakes: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with paper towels.
For the potato cakes: Grate the potatoes using the thick holes of a food processor or box grater. Set in a strainer and squeeze to drain off excess moisture. Transfer to a medium bowl and toss with the chives, thyme, salt and pepper.
Form half of the potato mixture into 4 thin cakes (they will just loosely hold together) about 4 inches wide. Heat half of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers (about 1 1/2 minutes). Reduce the heat to medium; use a spatula to transfer the potato cakes to the skillet. Cook without disturbing them for about 3 minutes, until the cakes have browned on the bottom. Flip them over and cook the second side for 3 minutes, until browned and crisped. Transfer to the lined baking sheet and sprinkle lightly with salt. Form and cook the remaining potato mixture with the remaining oil and transfer to the baking sheet.
Hold for up to 1 hour at room temperature. Just before serving, warm the potato cakes in a 425-degree oven for 2 to 3 minutes.
To serve, set a potato cake in the middle of a small individual plate, top with some of the red pepper relish and then with a couple of curls of the smoked salmon (you can fold these to make decorative roselike shapes). Sprinkle with black pepper. Serve warm.
From cookbook author Tony Rosenfeld.
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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