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Salmon Rillettes and Smoked Salmon Spread

Salmon pate on a bed of salad.Recipe courtesy of Chef Oonagh Williams of Royal Temptations Catering

Normally rillettes are meats cooked covered in fat for several hours until tender, then shredded and served as a pâté (a spread). Instead I pan fried fresh salmon in butter, salt and pepper, cooked it, let it cool, then broke it into flakes with a fork. I then added the cold salmon to my regular smoked salmon pâté and increased the seasonings.

This pâté has a very mild, subtle taste. Please use the tiny quantities of sherry and tomato ketchup listed. They are there to add flavor, not to overpower the whole dish. For correct quantities, measure the lemon juice, sherry and tomato ketchup together into a small bowl and then add to the food processor. It is far too easy to pour huge amounts out of a bottle otherwise and ruin the recipe.

My local grocery store sells fresh salmon offcuts for only $6.99/lb. Yes, it’s farmed salmon, but from Norway and the only farmed fish I buy. I use these salmon bits for fish chowder, fish tacos, stir fries and more. If you don’t have a food processor, just chop the smoked salmon into very small pieces.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz (225 g) softened cream cheese. I use lite.
  • 4 oz (112 g) smoked salmon or more. If packages go on sale buy in bulk and freeze until needed.
  • 8–12 oz raw salmon
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) sherry or brandy. I use Taylor’s Golden Sherry in cooking. Very reasonably priced.
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) tomato ketchup
  • Zest from half a lemon
  • 4 tsp (20 ml) lemon juice
  • Green of 2 green onions, cut into thin pieces
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh dill, if you like it. Dill doesn’t stay fresh. Fresh lemon thyme is also a wonderful addition.
  • Add salt to taste

Instructions:

  1. Melt 2 tbsp butter in a pan and cook the raw salmon in it, adding salt and pepper as needed.
  2. Let salmon cool, then flake it with a fork.
  3. Place smoked salmon in processor and run until chopped. Add the cream cheese, sherry, ketchup, lemon zest and lemon juice, then run until smooth and creamy.
  4. Stir in finely chopped herbs and the cooled salmon.
  5. Taste and adjust seasoning, if desired (more lemon, dash of cayenne pepper, Tabasco sauce, etc.).
  6. Leave for at least 4 hours before using. The flavors will change as it mellows and matures.
  7. Serve on a bed of greens. I topped mine with my maple herb vinaigrette.

About Chef Oonagh Williams

I have written a monthly recipe column for Beyond Celiac since January 2011. I have a Culinary Arts degree as well as celiac disease and other food allergies, so I know food and live this way daily. Remember that most real food is naturally gluten-free until manufacturers mess around with it, and only baking really needs changing. Real food is now being called clean eating.

Obviously talks and appearances are currently canceled, but you can connect with me on Facebook at Gluten-Free Cooking with Oonagh or on LinkedIn. I’ve just filmed recipes at home for New Hampshire’s ABC WMUR’s Cooks Corner and they are being aired. I am also being included in the nationwide library database of online presenters.

For new recipes and lots of advice, my e-cookbook Delicious Gluten-Free Cooking is only $20 and available to download at www.glutenfreecookingwithoonagh.com. It has tips, full-color photos, and recipes like grandma’s comfort soup, shrimp and crab bisque, English trifle, buffalo chicken, tiramisu, dinner party fare, and more. Follow the link to see the table of contents and thumbnail photos of the full-size photos in the e-book.

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