Mini Smoked Salmon Terrine

smoked salmon

Barn’s been away working so I took the opportunity to indulge myself in foods he doesn’t like.  Prime example, this beautiful organic smoked salmon, snapped up on a half price deal.  Snapped up with no idea what I was going to do with it, and with flagrant disregard for the rules of a cupboard challenge.

Having snagged my booty I felt I should at least apply the principle of a cupboard challenge by purchasing no further ingredients – whatever was at home would have to do.  Fortuitously, what was already in my fridge enabled me to make this delicious terrine 🙂

This recipe makes a decent lunch sized portion for one; size the recipe up according to the number of people you wish to serve.  If you have smaller moulds and wanted to do this as a starter, the quantities below should serve two.

Smoked salmon terrine with oatcakes

Ingredients per serving
100g thinly sliced smoked salmon
1 heaped tablespoon cream cheese
1 dessert spoon crème fraîche
A squeeze of lemon juice (about a dessert spoon)
Freshly ground black pepper

For the dressing
3 dessert spoons olive oil
3 dessert spoons lemon juice
A pinch of caster sugar
A few sprigs of fresh dill
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Thinly sliced cucumber and green salad leaves, to serve
Music

Remember – this is a per person recipe!

line ramekin with cling film and salmon slicesPrepare a small ramekin by lining with cling film, making sure you leave plenty of excess overhanging the dish.

Use slices of smoked salmon to completely line the ramekin, again, making sure there is an overhang.  You should have around ⅓ of the salmon left.

add cream cheese and creme fraichePut remaining salmon into a food processor and blitz to a fine mince.

blendAdd cream cheese, crème fraîche, a squeeze of lemon juice and the black pepper then blend. It doesn’t have to be completely smooth, a little texture is fine 🙂

fill ramekin with cheese mixPour the salmony cheesey goodness into the prepared ramekin.

If there’s any left over it makes an awesome dip. Or just scoff it with a spoon.

Cover topBring up overhanging salmon edges to completely cover the filling.

wrap tightlyWrap reasonably tightly with the overhanging cling film – not too tightly or you risk having your filling splurge out.

Wrap the entire thing again with a double layer of cling film – this is going to be refrigerated overnight and you don’t want to imbue everything else in there with salmon flavour.

When you’re ready to serve, make the dressing by putting lemon juice, olive oil, caster sugar and a little chopped dill into a small jar with a tight fitting lid; shake vigorously (shake the jar!).  Add salt and pepper according to taste.

salad leaf & cucumber bedMake a bed of salad leaves on a plate, with a ring of sliced cucumber on top.

Smoked salmon terrineUnwrap the salmon terrine and carefully turn out onto the plate.  Drizzle with dressing and garnish with a sprig of dill.

Served with oatcakesServe with gluten free oatcakes…or ordinary ones…or crackers…as your tastes and dietary needs dictate 🙂

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Supremely Satisfying Creamy Courgette and Cheese Soup

Due to lack of attention on my part when food purchasing there is currently a courgette glut in our fridge.  I have no idea how I managed it, but I ordered nearly 2 kilos…quite a lot for two people!

Somewhat fortuitously, the cucurbit invasion coincided with the need to make something really quick to eat before succumbing to exhaustion, so we made inroads into the courgette mountain and whizzed up this feel-good soup.

Courgette & cheese soupParmesan was eschewed at the last minute in favour of a chunk of Comté left over from Big Sis’s Birthday.  The nutty, slightly sweet flavour was superb – I thoroughly recommend it (in this soup or on its own).  Don’t get hung up on it though, just use what you’ve got.

A small word of caution: really strong cheeses will overwhelm the flavour of the courgettes, making it more of a cheese soup – which could be just as good, but perhaps it’s a shame to abuse the courgettes in order to get there? 😉

To serve two (big portions)

Ingredients
Olive oil
A good handful of soffritto
1 small clove garlic, minced
A small handful of fresh basil leaves
Approx. 500g courgettes, cut into chunks
250-300ml chicken stock
2 glasses of white wine
4-6 tablespoons crème fraîche
50-75g (ish) grated Comté, or parmesan or other grated cheese of your choice
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Music

Ok, this won’t take very long…but don’t do it in a rush…use the prep and cooking time to slow down the tempo and let go of the day.

Immerse yourself in the rhythms of chopping and stirring…feel yourself unwind as you coax out flavours to meet and mingle…let your tensions drift away in curls of aromatic steam as the stock simmers…remember the caress of sun on your face as you breathe in the sweet peppery scent of the basil…

When making your soup is a whole body experience the eating is so much more satisfying 🙂

Soffritto - cookedHeat olive oil and cook soffritto over a medium to low heat until veg starts to soften.

CourgettesTurn up heat a little, add minced garlic and chopped courgettes, continue to cook until courgettes are just starting to colour.
You may notice they are not at all browned in this picture.  That’s because they’re raw.  I forgot to take a picture at the cooked stage.

Glass of wineAdd one glass of wine and simmer until reduced by about half.

The other glass of wine is for you – cheers!

Chicken stockpotAdd chicken stock and simmer for 10-15 minutes (make sure the carrots in the soffritto are soft).

Carefully transfer to food processor or blender.

Creme fraicheAdd crème fraîche…

Fresh basil…and add all but two or three of the basil leaves.

Blend to your preferred consistency.

ComteReturn to pan and add most of the grated cheese (keep some back for sprinkling on the top).

Warm gently, stirring, until cheese has melted.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Courgette & cheese soupSprinkle with remaining cheese and shred those last few basil leaves over the top. Serve with hot, buttered toast.

Feel better.
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