An elegant spread for your next party, these easy Salmon Rillettes hail from Eric Ripert's Le Bernardin restaurant in New York City. A combination of lightly poached fresh salmon and diced smoked salmon is the ultimate example of sophistication. Seafood lovers will flip for this starter.
1poundfresh, skinned salmon filletcut into 1-inch pieces
2tablespoonsthinly sliced chives
2 to 3tablespoonsfresh lemon juice
Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Toasted baguette slicesfor serving
Combine the white wine and shallots in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer over medium-low heat until the shallots are tender, about 2 minutes.
Add the salmon pieces and poach until they are just barely opaque, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the salmon pieces from the wine and immediately drain them on a baking sheet lined with a paper towel. Strain the wine, reserving the shallots. Place the salmon and shallots in the refrigerator to cool completely.
Combine the poached salmon pieces, reserved cooked shallots, smoked salmon, chives, and the mayonnaise and lemon juice in a stainless steel bowl. There should be just enough mayonnaise and lemon juice to moisten the mixture.
Gently stir the mixture until thoroughly combined; the salmon will break up a little–do not over-mix or mix too hard or it will become a paste. Season the rillettes with salt and pepper. Serve cold with toasted baguette slices.
Rillettes can be made 1 day in advance and covered and chilled until needed.
To make baguette toasts: slice a baguette into about ½-inch thick slices on the bias, arrange on a baking sheet, brush or spray with olive oil, and bake at 375 degrees F for about 10 minutes until lightly toasted.
If you want more of a smoked salmon flavor in your rillettes, increase the amount of smoked salmon to 4 or 5 ounces. You may need to slightly increase the mayo and lemon juice if you do this.
Eat leftover rillettes like you would tuna salad, in a sandwich for lunch!