This salmon spread, made from both poached and smoked salmon mashed with butter, is a version of French rillettes. Rillettes, which are similar to pâté, are made from blending together protein and fat. Could there be a better snack?
Rillettes are often made with pork, duck or rabbit meat and lard, but using salmon and butter is easier and a genius way to make creamy salmon spread without adding mayonnaise, cream cheese or sour cream. The blend of salmon and butter (with just a drizzle of olive oil) is flavored with chives, capers and lemon.
There’s really no reason not to treat this “spread” like a salad and eat it with a fork, but if you want finger food then serve salmon rillettes on crispy nori chips.
This salmon rillettes recipe is adapted from the book “Cooking at Home on Rue Tatin.”
Time in the Kitchen: 25 minutes
8 ounces raw boneless, skinless salmon (230 g)
4 ounces smoked salmon, cut into tiny pieces (113 g)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature (60 g)
Season raw salmon with salt. Bring 1 cup water to boil in a small saucepan. Reduce heat to low. Add salmon and put a lid on the pan. Poach until opaque in center, 5 to 8 minutes, depending on how thick the fillet is. Remove salmon and let cool.
In a medium bowl, mash the butter and 1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil together with a fork until the mixture is very smooth and spreadable. Mix in the chives and capers.
Flake the cooked salmon into the bowl. Add the smoked salmon and lemon juice. Mash together with a fork.
To make nori chips, preheat oven to 300 °F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment.
In a small bowl mix together the remaining tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil with the rice vinegar.
Brush one side of each nori sheet with the olive oil and rice vinegar. Cut or tear the nori sheets in half, then cut or tear each half into 4 triangles. Bake the triangles for 4 minutes, then turn the pan in the oven. Bake 4 to 6 minutes more, until the edges of the nori have curled up. Remove and cool.
Spoon a dollop of salmon spread in the middle of a nori chip and enjoy!
Note: The nori chips will get soggy if the salmon spread sits on them for too long, so it’s best to spoon the salmon on right before eating.