But eating on the cheap doesn't mean eating poorly. With access to good ingredients and good recipes anyone can eat well with a little effort. Thomas Keller's salmon cornets have always appealed to me. Salmon tartare with creme fraiche in a savory tuile cornet, they sounded delicious. Unlike some chefs who seem to favor form over substance, Keller's recipes always put taste at the forefront.
This is not a recipe you are going to whip up for a quick snack. While not particularly difficult, it is time consuming. The cornets require the sort of finicky attention to detail that can try the patience of even a serene soul such as myself. Should you have small children in the house, you might want to keep them far from the kitchen unless you want them to learn a-whole-nother vocabulary. Words cannot express the frustration of watching a tuile slide off the slipat like a house in a landslide. Still, a few F-bombs improves one's mood. They can be made ahead of the day you intend to use them, so you will be in a better mood when filling them.
Keller's recipe calls for fresh salmon, but I used some cold-smoked sockeye salmon because I had just smoked it and had it on hand. I also added some fresh dill. I did not mince the salmon as finely as Keller does, but I like the slightly larger dice. Deceptively rich, these make a wonderful appetizer for a small gathering. I served them standing in bowls with tuerca de maiz which I get at Corti Brothers, the corn kernels anchoring the cornets but also providing another snack once the cornets were finished.
The recipe is in Keller's The French Laundry Cookbook. It can also be found here.
Spreading the batter on a stencil on a slipat.
The cornets after they've been removed from the forms.
Ready to serve.