5 Star Makeover Tea Party: Salmon Duo Napoleon with Crême Fraiche

This month’s 5 Star Makeover, hosted by the amazing 5 Star Foodie and Lazaro Cooks is another brilliant group presentation: A tea party. Each member was asked to prepare a nibble such as the ones you would find in a tea service.

The variant name of Napoléon appears to come from “napolitain”, the French adjective for the Italian city of Naples, but altered by association with the name of Emperor Napoleon I of France. However there is no evidence to connect the pastry to the emperor himself. The classic french Napoléon, or Mille Feuille, is a pastry consisting of with almond flavored paste.

But in Italy, where the city of Naples is, it is called mille foglie and there are several savory versions of it. I will be exploring a savory version for you today with the us use of salmon, a favorite filling used to make finger sandwiches during tea service. Another classic component of tea service is Crême Fraiche, a thick cream with a tangy sour taste which results from light fermentation. It can be used on both sweets (like scones) or savory (sandwiches) treats.

Did you know that high tea was actually for the poor and common folk? They were served at high tables without chairs, with dishes such as meat, cheese, pickles bread. What the socialites and aristocrats enjoyed was actually referred to as low tea, or afternoon tea, because the rich had the luxury of ‘waisting’ time sitting leisurely for a snack.

Ξ Salmon Duo Napoleon with Crême Fraiche Ξ
adapted from CBC.ca Best Recipes

Crême Fraiche:
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 tsp dried dill
1 tbsp fresh chives, chopped
1/4 tsp pepper
1 pinch salt

6 peppercorns
1 sprig thyme (or 1/4 tsp dried)
1 bay leaf
4 oz salmon
3 oz smoked salmon (I used a dry Maple version)

puff pastry

Crème Fraîche: place the sour cream and whipping cream in a jar with an airtight lid. Cover securely and shake 15 seconds. Place on the counter (yes the counter) for 24 hours or until thickened. Stir once or twice during that time. Mix in the dill, chives, pepper and salt. Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to two weeks.

On lightly floured surface, roll puff pastry to a rectangle 10 by 12 inches and about 1/8-inch thick. Cut into 20 pieces, 2 by 3 inches . Place on parchment paper lined baking sheets; prick pastry all over with fork. Bake in 425°F (220°C) oven for about 12 minutes or until golden, rotating pans once. Let cool completely.

Filling: Meanwhile, in shallow saucepan, bring 4 cups (1 L) water, peppercorns, thyme and bay leaf to boil. Reduce heat to medium. Add salmon; cover and simmer for about 8 minutes or until salmon flakes easily when tested with fork. Transfer to plate; let cool completely. Break into chunks.

Lay 1 of the pastry squares on work surface; dollop with Crème Fraîche. Top with some of the poached salmon and a slice of smoked salmon. Top with another square of pastry; repeat layers. Sprinkle with chives. Serves 10.

20 comments to 5 Star Makeover Tea Party: Salmon Duo Napoleon with Crême Fraiche

  • Gus

    Just amazing. I’m so tempted to at some point set aside a weekend and see if I can achieve this one with my rudimentary bachelor-level cooking skills.

  • Based on the definition you shared, high tea is definitely the tea for me! lol. Love your savory Napoleons, it’s just the sort of thing I would go for!

  • I always thought the many -layered Napoleon had something to do with all the layers or his outfits or his complex personality. That doesn’t really matter when the result is so amazing. Gorgeous idea with the double salmon hit. I love the idea of this dish. Isn’t puff pastry the best thing? Lovely tea you’ve made here!

  • I know what I’m making for a first course next time I have people over for dinner. This has a WOW factor that’s off the charts. I want to eat one so bad right now..I LOVE salmon, but especially LOVE smoked salmon, and this is an elegant way to serve it! Best savory Napoleon ever!

  • I have to admit that most of time I use puff pastry it’s all sweet. I love that you used smoked salmon and creme fraiche to make this. Sounds delicious!!

  • Victoria

    Beautiful play on a salmon tea sandwich. Making napoleons is a great idea (and adding lots of yummy buttery flavor and flaky texture). Really great addition to the party :)

  • Excellent question Damian. Mascarponne is a cheese, like cream cheese. Crême fraiche is a cream that has been thickened with an acid, it is closer to sour cream.

  • These would be gone so quickly. I lot the Napoleon, but this savory take is genius.

  • I thought crême fraiche was just another name for mascarpone cheese? Or am I mistaken?

  • Liz

    I would eat these first at any tea party! I adore smoked salmon and your napoleons look spectacular. Interesting about the origins of high tea vs. low tea.

  • such a great savory treat! i haven’t had a lot of napoleons, but the combination of salmon and puff pastry is one that shouldn’t be missed :)

  • I am too a fan of savoury treats. These look so puffed up and beautiful!

  • Totally crispy, puffy deliciousness!

  • 5 Star Foodie

    Yummy! I like that you use both salmon fillet and smoked salmon here!

  • I love the feeling puff pastry leaves to my mouth and these savory Napoleon are right up my alley. I couldn’t stop to just one!

  • Norma-Platanos, Mangoes and Me!

    Savory is for me. Very elegant and a great post.

  • Wow Evelyne…love this…looks beautiful and so flavorful! Nice presentation as well :)
    Thanks for the recipe and hope you are having a great week!

  • This is so inspired, Ev! I love the idea of a savory Napoléon. Mmm, especially with maple smoked salmon!

  • Joan Nova

    Love! That’s definitely a tea party item I’d reach for although I’d prefer to accompany with a glass of white wine. P.S. It was interesting to learn the history of ‘high’ tea.

  • Wow! I’m drooling! Spectacular!