1 tablespoon butter, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup finely diced onion
2 large potatoes, scrubbed and cut into narrow, matchstick-like pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
2 ounces good-quality smoked salmon, diced
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
Equipment: 6 3-inch baking ramekins
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Coat the 6 baking ramekins with the softened butter; refrigerate ramekins. Add salt to a large saucepan of water; bring to boil over medium-high heat. While waiting for water to boil, saute onion in olive oil in a medium nonstick skillet until lightly browned and softened. Transfer onion to a large mixing bowl and set aside.
Add matchstick potato pieces to the boiling, salted water and cook 3 to 4 minutes. Strain off the water and add potatoes to the bowl with the onions. Cool potatoes and onions to room temperature.
To the cooled mixture, add olive oil, thyme, smoked salmon, and black pepper to taste; mix thoroughly. Using clean hands, shape potato mixture into 6 equal portions; press each portion into a pre-buttered ramekin. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and top with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of chives.
Yield: 6 appetizers or side-dish servings
Source: Chef Brooke Vosika of the Four Seasons Hotel New York for the Idaho Potato Commission