Make a Big First Impression With This Easy Seasonal Starter

Make a Big First Impression With This Easy Seasonal Starter

You know how easy it is to microwave popcorn, right? With just a few extra simple steps and a good pairing with Bourbon you’ve got yourself a super starter for your New Year's eve dinner party.

Bourbon pairing

The creator of this innovative dish is our friend Alex Cooper, excellent Chef of the London-based underground restaurant Basement Galley.

Salmon and Maple Syrup Pâté served with Old Bay Popcorn and Apple & Banana Purée was specifically created to pair with Bourbon. It's a pairing that really works, because salmon simply loves the honey-sweet taste of the Bourbon that comes through the ageing.

Bourbon is made from at least 51% corn, which also works well with the popcorn in the dish. Together with the banana and maple syrup the Bourbon profile is really brought to the fore.

It was first served to the London foodie crowd at our food & spirits pairing dinner, but following the recipe below you can now try it out too (and
see other great food & spirits pairing ideas).

Recipe for Salmon and Maple Syrup Pâté, Old Bay Popcorn with Apple & Banana Purée

To serve 4 people, you'll need:

- 2 medium salmon fillets
- 50 ml light soy sauce
- 20 ml maple syrup
- 50 g cream cheese
- 1 bag of microwave popcorn
- half of a tart, soft apple
- half a banana
- 3 teaspoons of sugar
- 15 g Old Bay seasoning rub (a classic American seasoning, traditionally used for crabs. You can use salt, pepper, paprika and a small dash of garlic granules instead).
- Several drops of Tabasco Chipotle sauce
- 4 slices of rye bread

Now let's get to work:

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
1) Peel the apple and the banana and chop into thin slices. Fry on a low heat in some butter, adding the sugar. Remove once the fruit has a compote-like texture.

2) Lay the Salmon in a roasting dish and cover with the soy sauce. Place in the oven until you see the white protein emerging from the flesh.

3) In the meantime, using a hand blender or small mixer puree the apples and bananas until smooth.

4) Remove the salmon from the oven. Using a fork, flake the meat and mix with the soy sauce, adding in the cream cheese. Keep stirring until you have a coarse paste. Then set to chill in the fridge for at least an hour.

When ready to serve up:

5) Microwave the popcorn (follow any instructions on the bag). Once removed from the microwave place it in a large bowl and liberally sprinkle the popcorn with the Old Bay spice rub and drizzle with the Chipotle sauce. Make sure you keep shaking the popcorn ensuring the seasoning distributes evenly.

6) Shape a portion of pate into a ball with a spoon and place on a plate. Spoon the apple and banana puree on to the plate and serve the popcorn in a little ramekin.

7) Serve with a slice of rye bread and pair with the Bourbon - our pairing selection is Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon 12 YO.

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