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This recipe is by Thomas Keller and his cookbook,
Bouchon. Photos taken at the Bouchon Restaurant in
This outstanding French Salmon Rillettes recipe and dinner menu was generously shared with my by Linda Sandberg of
Newberg, OR. Linda belongs to a Gourmet Dinner Group that delights in making wonderful foods that they share together.
French Bistro Dining which includes this recipe.
Check out Linda's
Appetizer Recipes and
Seafood Appetizers for more great appetizer ideas.
Salmon Rillettes - Rillettes aux Duex Saumons
Spreads, Pates and Terrines
Yields: 10 to 12 servings
Prep time: 30 min
1 pound center-cut
salmon fillet, skin and pin bones removed
2 tablespoons Pernod (absinthe, cognac, brandy, or whiskey may be substituted), optional
Coarse or sea
salt and freshly-ground white
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature and divided
1/2 cup minced shallots
1/2 pound un-sliced smoked salmon, chilled (skin and dark layer removed if necessary, and cut into 1/4-inch dice (bring back to room temperature)
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin
egg yolks, lightly beaten
1/4 cup minced chives
Trim and discard any dark flesh
from the salmon fillet. Place the salmon fillet in a shallow baking dish and
sprinkle each side with 1 tablespoon Pernod, 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4
teaspoon white pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 to 60 minutes,
turning the fish over halfway through the marinating time.
Bring some water (just enough to
cover the salmon) to a simmer in the bottom of a poacher/steamer*.
Remove the salmon from the marinade and place in the steamer, cover with the
lid. Gently steam for approximately 5 to 8 minutes. NOTE:
If you see steam pouring out the sides of the steamer, lower the heat.
Check the salmon by separating the flesh with the tip of a knife and looking at
the center. The center should be medium-rare. When the salmon is cooked, remove
from the steamer to a large bowl.
* A fish poacher/steamer is typically used to cook fish in an oven or on a
stove. Poaching is a technique that cooks food delicately and evenly in a barely simmering liquid
While the salmon is steaming, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a medium sauté or frying pan over low heat. Add the
shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Season with 1/4
teaspoon salt and continue to cook for approximately 3 to 4 minutes or until the
shallot have softened, but not browned. Remove from heat.
In a small bowl, place 7 tablespoons butter. Beat with a rubber spatula until the butter is smooth and
ressembles mayonnaise in consistency. Stir in the creme fraiche and set aside.
Break up the cooked salmon into large chunks (checking for and removing any small bones).
Because you will be stirring in the remaining ingredients, you don't want to
break up the pieces too much. Stir in the smoked salmon pieces, shallots,
lemon juice, olive oil, and egg yolks. Season assertively with 1/4 teaspoon salt
and 1/2 teaspoon white pepper, since this dish will be served cold. Fold in the
butter/creme fraiche mixture.
Transfer the salmon rillette to
two (2) ceramic ramekins or glass serving bowls, large terrine, leaving at least
1/2-inch of space at the top. Smooth the top of the rillettes and wipe the
inside rims clean. Refrigerator for approximately 1 hour or until cold.
Pour an 1/4-inch thick layer of clarified butter over the top of the rillettes
to seal. Learn how to make
Cover the bowls with plastic wrap
and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or as long as overnight. Bring to room
temperature before serving. May be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week
or frozen, well wrapped, for up to 2 months.
To serve, break through the butter
layer and remove it. Spread the Salmon Rillettes on toasted baguette bread
slices or cracker and sprinkle with chives. NOTE: Once the
butter is removed, the Salmon Rillettes must be used within two (2 )days.
Makes approximately 10 to 12 servings (about 3 1/4 cups).