I wanted to share with you one of the dishes I enjoyed both making and eating, I had reason to do a spot of entertaining recently and I was at a loss as what to serve as the starter. I wanted a dish that really didn't need too much involvement or fussiness, with no cooking on the day, something that I could make in advance and then produce with a flourish!
I used full fat cream cheese as I find much like my Lemon Cheesecake recipe, low fat cheese won't hold it's shape and it begins to collapse once it is removed from the fridge. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!
360g -400g Sliced smoked salmon
400g Full fat cream cheese
1 tbsp Fresh parsley or fennel, finely chopped
1-2 Lemons to serve
I used a square 15x15cm Pyrex dish to make one large terrine, however you could easily use ramekins for individual portions, but the quantiles stated in the recipe above are for my Pyrex dish, you may need more or less depending on your own dish/ramekins.
Line the dish with two layers of cling film allowing the cling film to hang over the sides by about 3-4cms. Two layers are definitely better than one, nothing worse than a single layer tearing just as you are about to serve up! Carefully lay the slices of smoked salmon into the lined dish, gently push the salmon into the corners using a small balled up piece of salmon, fill any gaps with small cut off's and set aside.
Take 1-2 slices of salmon and chop roughly with a knife until they are about the size of raisins, this will add texture and a touch of luxury to the finished terrine.
Place the remaining smoked salmon into a liquidiser or mini chopper, pulse until the salmon is about the size of breadcrumbs.
I used my mini chopper adding half of the salmon pulsing then adding the second half to save the motor or blade being overwhelmed.
Transfer the filling to a mixing bowl and fold in the roughly chopped salmon and chopped herbs. Taste and season if needed, although I found seasoning wasn't needed, I wanted to keep the filling light and fragrant.
Spoon the filling into the lined Pyrex dish. Pressing the filling firmly into all the corners with the back of a spoon, dip the spoon into a glass of hot water to prevent the filling sticking to it. Gather up the overhanging cling film and cover the terrine. Chill for at least 4-6 hours or overnight.
Once completely chilled, peel back the cling film, place your serving plate over the terrine and quickly invert both dishes so that the terrine is now face down on your serving plate.
Slowly remove the Pyrex dish and gently peel away the cling film.
Keep the terrine chilled until about 10-15 minutes before you are ready to serve, sliced it while it is still chilled but once plated up you can leave it a room temperature. Using a very sharp long bladed knife cut each slice.
You can thank my mother for this brilliant tip: between each slice dip the blade of the knife into a basin/sink of very hot water, this will allow the blade to glide through the next slice without catching on the smoked salmon!
I garnished my terrine with a sprinkling of fresh herbs and a wedge of fresh lemon and served it as a starter, however if you want it can be plated up on a bed of salad leaves with slices of brown bread as a light lunch for four.