Oh the glorious salmon! I haven't heard from many whom aren't a vegetarian, vegan, fruitarian or allergic to seafood that they do not like salmon. What is the attraction of this delicious creature? It is such a versatile protein, you can make it into sashimi, sushi, salad, terrine and many other delicious dishes through smoking, curing, pan frying, poaching or just leaving it raw. Salmon is rich in "omega-3" (that is supposedly good for reducing the likely-hood of cardiovascular diseases) as well as protein and vitamin D. In saying so, if looking at the studies conducted carefully, if you do not have any potential in developing cardiovascular diseases, or have any forms of cardiovascular diseases, then eating Omega-3 really wouldn't do you any "benefits"... Also studies have suggested that the farmed salmon may contain lesser omega-3 than the wild-type, so something to watch out for! Nevertheless, these days, living in food heaven with readily available produce, most of us will eat salmon just because it tastes so good! Growing up, one of my favourite salmon dish is the one made by mum. Sweet and sour pan-fried salmon steak! Sweet and sour from the lemon juice used and usually there are a lot of yummy sauces made from this dish which I love to drizzle lots over my steamed rice while I eat it - nom nom...
So far having shared my more rustic and simple dishes, I thought I would throw you guys into the deep end and challenge you to try and make this following recipe. It is taken out of one of my favourite cookbook: Gary Rhodes: New British Classics. I have to admit, I normally do not buy celebrity chef's cookbook, however, Chef Gary Rhodes and Masaharu Morimoto are my only exceptions :D This recipe is fabulous; you can make it days in advance and will eally wow your families and friends. Only a few ingredients are needed and other than that is some patients and artistic skills. I first made this two Christmas ago and it was an absolute hit. It helped having fresh dill in my mother's garden and being Christmas, the smoked salmon was on special. I found there isn't many "long" slices of smoked salmon in New Zealand, so instead of using one large loaf tin/terrine dish, I used two smaller ones instead. Having two smaller ones is great as I find it easier to slice the terrine afterwards. One thing to watch out for when buying smoked salmon is the "cuts" where it is taken from. Be sure to get the "belly" portions of the smoked salmon so each slice is more uniform in size, whereas the portion near the tail tends to be "thinner and longer" so you'll need more slices to cover the terrine. When most people think of Christmas, they think of hearty dishes like roast turkey, hot chocolate and English pudding. However, being in good old New Zealand, our Christmas is in the middle of summer, so I hope this dish offers a refreshing take on appertizer for hot summery Christmas meals, enjoy!
Smoked Salmon Terrine
50g marinated anchovies
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
Juice of ½ lemon
2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
1-1.5kg sliced smoked salmon
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
1. Line a 1.4L terrine dish or a 900g loaf tin with cling film. Soften the butter. Cut the anchovy fillets into small 2-3mm dice and stir into the butter, along with the finely grated lemon zest. Add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. To finish, simply fold in the chopped dill. This will now need to be used at room temperature, making it easy to spread.
2. Place 3-4 slices of the salmon widthways in the terrine, creating a lining for the filling. It is important to make sure large slices are used, leaving a 3-4cm overhang on each side.
3. Spread a very thin layer of butter over the base and cover with slices of salmon. Now repeat until the terrine is absolutely full.
4. This will have used the majority, if not all, of the butter. Once full, fold over the original slices to cover the top. Cover with cling film and refrigerate, using another terrine, or something similar as a weight. This will help press the layers of the terrine together. This needs to be left for several hours.
5. The butter when cold will set, making the terrine a lot easier to slice.
6. Once set, simply turn out and, while still wrapped in cling film, the terrine can be portioned. This guarantees that the slices keep their shape. To eat this dish at its best, the terrine can be put on a plate, cling film removed, and allowed to become just lightly chilled, giving the butter spread a softer texture.
I know the ingredients calls for "anchovies", but fear not, it is only there to enhance the subtle flavour and you won't taste it with the rich smoked salmon (as long as you've mixed in the anchovies well). If you do not have fresh dill, then dried dill is also adequate, but you may need to use a bit more though. Always taste the butter mixture at the end before commencing the layering. I find that I like my butter more acidic so added extra 1 lemon of zest and juice of 1/2 lemon, but that is more of a personal thing. I have a miniature offset spatula that is triangular rather than the traditional straight one, this helps spread the butter well in the corner of the container. It is important to spread the butter evenly, otherwise one side may collapse after you put the weight on. I served this with thin and plain wafers, cornichons and lemon wedges -t'was DELICIOUS (if you don't mind me saying so myself!) ^.^
|A slice of smoked salmon terrine, left at room temperature for 5-10 min and|
garnished with more freshly chopped dills.