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Salmon Rillettes


Fresh salmon is blended in with hot-smoked salmon to give the rillettes extra richness of flavor. A sophisticated yet rustic appetizer great for entertaining.

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  • 1/2 pound center-cut, skinless salmon fillet
  • 1 tablespoon anise-flavored liqueur, such as Pernod
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 celery rib
  • 1 leek, halved lengthwise
  • 1 small onion, quartered lengthwise
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 4 cups water
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large shallot, minced (1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 tablespoon sour cream
  • 1/4 pound skinless hot-smoked salmon, flaked
  • 2 tablespoons snipped chives
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
  • Toasted baguette slices, for serving



Step 1

On a plate, sprinkle the salmon with the anise liqueur and season with salt and white pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, bring the celery, leek, onion, bay leaf, peppercorns, wine and water to a boil. Simmer for 25 minutes.

Add the salmon to the pan, cover and remove from the heat; let stand for 10 minutes. Remove the salmon, picking off any peppercorns, and refrigerate until chilled, about 45 minutes. Flake the salmon.

In a skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the shallot and cook over moderate heat until softened. Let cool.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter until smooth. Whisk in the sour cream. Add the cooled shallot, along with the poached and smoked salmon, chives, lemon juice, olive oil and paprika and stir until combined. Season the rillettes with salt and white pepper. Serve with toasted baguette slices.

Make Ahead:
The rillettes can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Pack into a crock and press a sheet of plastic wrap onto the surface.

Suggested Pairing: Smooth, apple-rich Napa Valley Chardonnay.


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