What is Rillette?
Rillette is a cooking style, similar to confit. Meats and seafood are slow-cooked in their own fats, then shredded or cubed and seasoned to taste. When made from seafood, the fish is first cubed, then poached in wine and seasoned with spices and a sauce-like binder to create what Americans might call "salad," (think tuna, or chicken "salad"). Rillettes differ from pate in a few ways. Firstly, unlike pate, rillettes are not made of organ meats. Secondly, rillettes have a chunky consistency and are meant to be spooned; while pâtés are generally shaped into loaves or pressed into jars, and meat to be sliced or spread. Many people enjoy rillettes because of its juicy mouthfeel. Because of its more satisfying bite and less rich taste, rillettes are often a main course—perhaps a light lunch—while pate is most often an hors d'oeuvre. Lastly, unlike rillettes, pates are usually binded with eggs, milk, breadcrumbs and sometimes cognac or wine to compliment and soften the richness of the organ meat.
“The best salmon rillettes I ever ate was in New York, at the Michelin three-star restaurant, Le Bernardin.”
Preparation: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Cooling Time: 1 hour
Assembly/Serving: 10 minutes
2-1/2 cups dry white wine (we recommend a Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc)
1-1/4 tbsp. minced shallots
3 - 6 oz. fillets Kolikof Norwegian Faroe Island Salmon Fillets
3 oz. Scottish Smoked Salmon Balik Fillet
2-1/2 tbsp. thinly sliced fresh chives
3/4 cup mayonnaise
4 tbsp. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
Fine sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
3 - tbsp. Echire AOC French salted butter
1 - French Baguette, thinly sliced
- Thaw all of the salmon overnight in your refrigerator. Line a baking sheet with a few layers of paper towels. Set aside.
- Using a sharp knife, dice the Scottish smoked salmon Balik fillet into very small 1/4" pieces. Refrigerate and set aside.
- Using a new (or cleaned) sharp knife, cube the Norwegian Faroe Island salmon fillets in approximately 1-inch pieces. Set aside.
Pour the white wine into a large saucepan. Add shallots and bring to a boil (about 3 minutes). Simmer over medium-low heat until the shallots are tender, about 2 minutes. Add salmon fillet cubes. Poach until opaque (approx. 3-4 minutes). Using a slotted spoon, remove the salmon pieces from the saucepan, and place them on the paper towel-lined baking sheet in one layer to drain. Strain the wine, and reserve the shallots separately. Place the salmon and shallots in the refrigerator to cool (approx. an hour).
In a bowl, combine the cooled poached salmon pieces, reserved shallots, diced Scottish smoked salmon, chives, and some of the mayonnaise and lemon juice. Slowly combine with mayonnaise and lemon juice, tasting as you add for your own preference of texture and moistness. Take care to fold—not stir or mix. The salmon fillets are fragile. The idea here, is to allow the fillets to fall apart but to also somewhat hold their cubed shape so that the rillettes remains chunky. Season to taste with sea salt and white pepper.
Serve immediately, or refrigerate until serving is desired.
Allow rillettes to come nearly to room temperature. Toast baguette slices to desired doneness. Melt the butter in the microwave or in a small saucepan. Allow butter to cool slightly. Drizzle melted butter over rillettes. Serve with toastpoints, and top with caviar if desired. Enjoy!