Thursday, December 31, 2015

Potted Salmon Spread

Potted Salmon Spread

The mixture of fresh poached and smoked salmon gives this spread a more complex flavour and texture. It can be made ahead and served with drinks or an appetizer. Buying a centre cut piece of salmon is important as it has an even thickness and so cooks uniformly.

½ lb. salmon fillet centre cut, skin and pin bones removed
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
3 tbsp Pernod
½ cup dry white wine
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 shallot, peeled and sliced
1 bay leaf
½ lb. smoked salmon, diced
¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 lemon
1 tbsp chopped dill
1 tbsp finely chopped chives
¼ cup clarified butter, optional

Place the salmon in a shallow glass dish. Season both sides with salt and white pepper then sprinkle over 1 tbsp Pernod. Cover and leave to marinate at room temperature while preparing the poaching liquid.

In a small frying pan with a lid, add 2 cups water, white wine, vinegar, shallot and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, and then lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.

Turn off the heat; add the salmon and any juices accumulated in the dish. Cover and leave to stand 5 minutes. Turn the fillet, cover and leave another 5 minutes. After 10 minutes, the salmon will be cooked to medium. Remove the salmon from the pan and leave to cool. Discard the poaching liquid.

4. In a food processor, blend half the diced smoked salmon with the butter and mayonnaise until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the remaining diced smoked salmon and remaining Pernod. Zest the lemon and juice it. Add the zest and 1½ tbsp lemon juice, dill and finely chopped chives to the bowl.

5. Break the cooked salmon into large flakes and add them to the mixture. Gently blend so that all the ingredients are combined but the salmon remains in chunks. Pack the mixture into ceramic crocks and smooth the surface. Refrigerate until firm. If you wish to keep the mixture for more than 3 days, seal the surface with cooled melted clarified butter. Once sealed, they will keep for at least 1 week, refrigerated.

Makes three ½-cup crocks.

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