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28 December 2012

Potato Cream Cheese & Smoked Salmon Bites


Yesterday, we went to Ikea to buy a new kitchen faucet.  My old one, which served me for 13 years decided to die right on the only day when it shouldn't. The day when all the shops are  closed for the Christmas holiday.  I had already mapped out how my 24th, 25th and 26th were going to be.  I managed to schedule my cooking and the Christmas dinner and lunch at the houses of my in-laws without so much free time to spare because yesterday, the 26th, we had a lunch to host at home with our friends.  Until 18:30 struck on the 24th of December when the problems started.


After a frenetic flurry of activities in the kitchen, someone seemed to have pressed the "pause" button after my husband closed the water from under the sink after it had been gushing out non-stop from the faucet.  We both stared at the quieted faucet. That was it.  He made a dash for the closest plumbing shop but they were already closed. I closed my eyes and calmed myself down before turning off the kitchen light.  The pots and pans I used in cooking were still strewn on the stove and in the sink and the counter and table needed a good wiping so badly.  It was a first for me to leave the kitchen in that state.  But Christmas cannot wait.  

On our way home on the 25th, we found an open shop selling practically everything under the sun that are all imported from China. Toys, threads, you name it, they have it.  And also kitchen faucets! With the unbelievable low price they were selling it, my husband and I knew that the quality also matches the price. But we needed it only for a couple of days until the shops open again on the 27th when we can buy a proper one. For a couple of hours, my husband labored in the kitchen to install the new one.  Result?  We knew that the new faucet shouldn't be that good for its price but not like what happened!  The water was gushing out from everywhere!  It was worse than our previous problem.  My husband found a solution from the spare plumbing box he has in the garage.  There was a spare new bathroom faucet there that he was able to find a way to put in the kitchen.  

So yesterday, along with the whole population of the city (everyone had the same idea of going to Ikea too!), we were elbowing our way in Ikea to get that faucet.  We managed to order it and pay for it but we forgot to get it at the merchandise pick-up. Yes, we went home with so much stuff that we didn't plan to buy but not the item that we really went there for.  Today again.  Kitchen faucets and our family don't seem to go well together. 


I did manage to take home a kilo of smoked salmon from there.  Aside from the furniture area and the household item area, I also love working my way around the food market of Ikea. I never go home without a pack of smoked salmon. They are always reasonably priced. 

Here is an appetizer that makes use of smoked salmon, potatoes & cream cheese.  I made these for the first time before Christmas and I made a repeat with the new salmon I brought home. Poppy seeds and chives are optional but they do give some flavor especially the chives.  Since my husband doesn't like anything associated with onions, I prepare a couple of versions, with poppy seeds and the other, with chives.  The size of the balls depends on how you want them.  I like mine on the small side, about a teaspoonful because they are easier to pop in the mouth and the size is kid-friendly.  

Hoping you are all having a good week!  




Potato Cream Cheese & Smoked Salmon Bites

Ingredients:
Serves 2
  • 100 grams potatoes
  • 50 grams cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • salt & pepper
  • about 1 teaspoon chives, chopped finely + some for tying
  • 2 slices of smoked salmon (amount depends on the size of the slices), sliced to small pieces 
Directions:
  1. Peel, quarter and cook potatoes in boiling salted water until tender.  Drain well.  Transfer to a bowl.
  2. Mash with a masher or potato ricer.   Mix in cream cheese, milk, poppy seeds or chives, salt & pepper.  Mix well.
  3. Spray or rub a little amount of oil on a cling film.
  4. Scoop a teaspoon (or tablespoon if you want them bigger) of the potato mixture and put it in the middle of the oiled side of the cling film.  Tighten by twisting the top to make a ball.  
  5. When it is already shaped like a ball, put one small piece of salmon on top and tighten the cling film again to embed the salmon in the potato ball.
  6. Peel off cling film then tie a piece of chive around the potato ball.  This part is optional.  
  7. Repeat until you finish the potatoes.