Rillettes, so very French, are usually made with pork cooked in its own fat until it’s as spreadable as jam. These are lighter, made with both fresh and smoked salmon and miso butter. The butter gives the rillettes their luxurious texture (it also holds everything together), and the miso is the flavor that few people can identify on first bite. Serve the rillettes on toast or crackers with white or sparkling wine. Cocktail hour perfection.
1/4 cup white wine
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces skinless salmon fillets, cut into small cubes
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3 tablespoons white or yellow miso
1 small shallot, minced
4 ounces finely chopped cold-smoked salmon*
3 tablespoons mixed herbs or cilantro, minced
Toast or crackers, for serving
* The recipe was tested with cold-smoked salmon. Cold- and hot-smoked salmon have different textures. I've never used hot-smoked salmon in the recipe, but I think it could be delicious. My concern is that it might be a little dry. If you decide to experiment with hot-smoked salmon, I'd have some additional softened butter at the ready - you might need it to get the velvety texture that makes rillettes so appealing.
Cut 3 thin strips of lemon peel and toss them into a small saucepan along with the wine, 1/4 cup of water and a pinch of salt; bring to a boil. Add the fresh salmon, lower the heat, cover and cook for just 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat, keep covered and let rest for 10 minutes. Strain the salmon, discarding the liquid and peel, and chill for about 20 minutes (or for up to 1 day).
In a mixing bowl, beat the butter with a flexible spatula until it’s spreadable. Mix in the miso. Finely grate the lemon’s remaining zest and add it to the bowl along with the juice from half the lemon. Add the shallot, a pinch of salt and a little pepper. Blend thoroughly, then stir in both salmons, the herbs and a squirt of Sriracha. Taste and season with more salt, pepper and Sriracha, if desired.
Transfer the rillettes to the refrigerator. The rillettes are best after they’ve been refrigerated for 6 hours, but they’re fine once the butter is chilled. Serve with toast or crackers. The rillettes will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 3 days.
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