Dish of the Week: Salmon Rillettes

From classic comfort foods to regional standouts and desserts, we'll be sharing a new recipe with you each week. Find other dishes of the week here.

This week, we’re sharing an easy New Year’s Eve appetizer: salmon rillettes.

Rilletes are a preparation of meat or seafood that is cooked, shredded or minced, and combined with fat to form a soft, smooth spread, similar to that of pâté. The name is derived from the Old French word rille, meaning slice of pork, and the most common version of this dish is made using fatty pork belly or pork shoulder.

Today you’ll find versions that star meats such as chicken, duck, goose, and rabbit or fish, as in the salmon version we’re sharing today.

This recipe, from On the Line Inside the World of Le Bernardin Cookbook by Eric Ripert and Christine Muhlke, combines smoked and white-wine-poached salmon with a simple mixture of shallot, mayonnaise, lemon juice, and chives. Served with crostini, it makes a perfectly simply, bright and fresh addition to a New Year’s Eve spread. 

Salmon Rillettes

Ingredients serves 6
2 cups dry white wine
1 tbsp minced shallot
1 pound skinless salmon fillet (preferably wild), cut into 1-inch pieces
3 ounces smoked salmon, cut into 1/4' pieces
1/2 cup (or more) mayonnaise
2 tbsp thinly sliced fresh chives
1 tbsp (or more) fresh lemon juice
Fine sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
1 baguette, thinly sliced, toasted

Bring wine and shallot to a boil in a small saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to low; add salmon. Gently poach until salmon is barely opaque in center, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Strain poaching liquid through a fine-mesh sieve; set aside shallot and discard liquid. Place salmon and shallot in a large bowl; cover and chill until completely cooled.
Add smoked salmon, 1/2 cup mayonnaise, chives, and one tablespoon of lemon juice to salmon and shallot. Gently mix just to combine (salmon will break up a little, but do not overmix or a paste will form). Season to taste with salt, pepper, and more mayonnaise and lemon juice, if desired.

Serve cold with toasted slices of baguette.

Make ahead: 
Rillettes can be made one day ahead. Cover and chill.
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Brooke Viggiano is a contributing writer who is always looking to share Houston's coolest and tastiest happenings with the Houston Press readers.
Contact: Brooke Viggiano