Salmon Rillettes/Salmon Spread
Adapted from Cooking At Home on Rue Tatin by Susan Loomis This has become one of my top go-to recipes. If you don’t live in France, it’s kind of exciting to introduce guests to rillettes and they’ll immediately think you’re very sophisticated (although that strategy hasn’t worked for me around here.) I serve it with toasted slices of grainy baguettes, but it would be tasty with dark rye or heaped on wholemeal crackers. As mentioned, I haven’t tried variations on this recipe, except I did use smoked trout once along with the steamed salmon, and no one was the wiser. Don’t tell David, but you could probably get away with using canned salmon if fresh salmon is hard to come by where you live.
8 ounce (250g) piece of salmon, preferably wild, bones removed
salt
5 tablespoons (75g) unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped chives
4 ounces (125g) smoked salmon, cut into thin strips, then cut into ½-inch (2 cm) pieces
1/4 teaspoon chili powder or smoke paprika (I use pimento d’Espelette) or a few turns of freshly-ground white pepper
1. Season the salmon on both sides lightly with a bit of salt. Steam in a steamer basket until just cooked, about 8 minutes. If you have a microwave, you can probably cook it in there as well.
Once cooked, remove from heat and let cool.
2. In a medium-sized bowl, mash together with a fork the butter and the olive oil until very smooth.
This is très important; otherwise there’ll be big chunks of butter in the finished rillettes.
3. Stir in the lemon juice, then the chopped chives and smoked salmon.
4. Remove the skin from the salmon and flake the cooked salmon over the mixture, then fold the pieces of salmon into the rillette mixture along with the chili powder.
Season with salt, if necessary.
5. Scrape into a serving dish, cover, and chill for at least two hours. Let come to room temperature before serving.

Storage: The rillettes can be made up to two days before and refrigerated. They can also be frozen, well-wrapped, for up to two months.