My last post featured the main dish I chose for Phil’s birthday dinner. Now it’s time to share with you a nice appetizer from the same evening: salmon rillettes. When we lived in Paris, rillettes were a favorite item we ordered in restaurants. Often pork, sometimes duck rillettes. In one of the little neighborhood bistrots, Aux Artistes, they would serve them (as well as their country terrine) family style. A big dish would be brought to the table, so you could serve yourself some, then the waiter would take it away for others to enjoy. Very civilized in that unique French way. Hard to imagine the same situation in the US. What? You expect me to eat something that was already on someone else’s table? Manipulated by other human beings? You must be out of your mind! I say “Vive la différence!” And pass me the rillettes, will you?
I found this recipe in Karen’s site. She loved it so much that she confessed to having it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner several days in a row. That, my friends, is what food endorsement is all about. I knew I had to make it sooner rather than later.
(from Karen’s Kitchen Stories)
Place the unchopped half of the jalapeno into a small saucepan. Add the vermouth, water, bay leaf, peppercorns, and coriander seeds. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Add the green onions and fresh salmon cubes. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for three to five minutes. Drain in a colander. Discard the vegetables and place the salmon in a medium bowl.
Mash the salmon roughly with a fork. Add the smoked salmon and mash with a fork. Add the butter and blend with a fork. Add some of the juice from the lemon, the lemon zest, along with some salt and pepper to taste. Add the shallots, minced jalapeno, crushed pink peppercorns, and crushed red pepper. Mix thoroughly. Stir in more lemon juice, to taste.
to print the recipe, click here
Comments: This was incredibly tasty, just as Karen promised it would be, and got better each day. The mixture of smoked salmon with the lightly poached fish, the lemon, the spices, everything works together in perfect harmony. It is surprisingly mild in flavor. Plus, what a fun recipe to make! I don’t know why I never attempted rillettes at home, but now that I did, I feel like trying my hands at some pork rillettes, served ‘comme il faut’, with those small cornichons, and a crusty baguette. I will be catapulted straight back to Aux Artistes, although between you and me, the place brings mixed feelings. Yeah, the food was awesome, prices affordable, great atmosphere. but the owner, a gorgeous blonde, tall, bright-blue-wandering eyes, could not – I repeat – could not stop flirting with Phil. Oh, well… as a mentor of mine used to say… attractive people attract. I took it all with my best smile, sips of Bordeaux, and a few discreet but assertive kicks under the table. Let’s keep in mind though, that two can play that game. Not that I would ever… you know, I am just not the vindictive type…
I hope you try this recipe on your next dinner party. Not only it is unusual and elegant, but you will be better off making it in advance. It’s the hostess’ dream come true!
Karen, once again I should thank you for the constant inspiration!
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