Sunday, June 30, 2013

Salmon Rillettes

Salmon rilletes on sourdough toast, with rainbow summer salad
A "rillete" means a soft-cooked meat, preserved in it's own fat, sort of like confit. In fact, a lot of rillettes (duck, pork, rabbit) start as a confit, and then are mixed with fat to form the rillette.
So all rillettes are really just fatty, meaty spreads. So obviously, I love them.
Salmon rilletttes are delicious. You mix delicate steamed salmon with smoked salmon, butter, lemon, a tiny bit of sour cream, shallots and chives. It's savory, smoky, fresh, and totally delicious. Serve it on toast--I prefer sourdough. To make it especially fabulous and decadent, fry your bread in olive oil instead of merely toasting.
A perfect summer dinner.
I first started making rillettes when my sister gave me Thomas Keller's Bouchon cookbook for Christmas. It had a chapter on "potted food": rillettes, pates, terrines. Everything in that chapter is fatty and smoky--the kind of thing your Eastern European grandparents would have liked.
I've adapted his salmon rillettes recipe somewhat--my version is easier to make and eliminates raw egg yolks (which tasted faintly to me of mayonnaise, my enemy).

Salmon Rillettes (makes enough for several meals-for-two, or a party)


6 oz lox
1 lb of fresh salmon (I bought a full filet and used about half)
1 bunch chives (I bought a package from the grocery. I would measure this at a handful)
3 lemons
3 shallots
1 stick butter
3 TB sour cream
1/4 cup white wine (whatever kind you want)

What to do

Cut the skin off your fresh salmon if it came in a filet. We will start by steaming your fresh salmon fillet. You want a delicate salmon--don't overcook! Place your fresh salmon in a pan and lightly salt. Cut a lemon in half and place beside the salmon. Cut a shallot in half and place beside the salmon. Add 1/4 cup white wine and 1/4 cup of water. Cover the pan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer, and simmer for about 6 minutes. You want the salmon just barely cooked through.
Before steaming.
After steaming.
Place the steamed salmon in a bowl. Add the smoked salmon.
Melt the stick of butter in a small saucepan. Chop the shallots. Add them to the butter. Cook the shallots in the butter for about two minutes--you want them cooked, but not browned. Add the shallots and butter to the bowl with the two kinds of salmon. 
Finely chop the chives and add them to the bowl. 
Juice two lemons and zest one lemon. All the juice and zest to the bowl. 
Add the sour cream to the bowl.
Sprinkle lightly with salt. 
Ingredients before mixing.
Use a fork to mix everything together. Mix to spreadability, but not to mush. You want distinct chunks of fresh and smoked salmon.
Taste--does it need more salt? More lemon? Re-season as needed.
Finished rillettes.
Chill in the fridge for about an hour. 
Serve spread on toast or crostini! 

This keeps great in the fridge for weeks. 

Invite someone wonderful to dinner and have a toast-feast. 

1 comment:

  1. This plate looks very awesome and very yummy. I like the style!!