The Christmas holidays are near and considering the composition of a festive menu I am relying on inspiration from the December Christmas edition of the Delicious Magazine. Isn’t it amazing that just for a few Euro one could get the best recommendations of the famous chefs and relax and plan in advance all that is needed for preparing a delicious dinner? I must admit, fully trusting the description of a recipe without a trial test remains a rather risky affair. What if the flavours of the dish are not quite to our taste? What if the recipe seemingly easy requires special skills and demands the execution of advanced culinary techniques way beyond our average capabilities? What if adding dish one and dish two to a three course festive menu simply doesn’t work? Throwing all hesitation away I simply choose to trust my instinct, trust the professional chefs composing every dish and let the culinary magic happen.
For this year’s Christmas Eve, I have selected two of the courses from the Delicious Magazine edition. The starter is a Smoked Salmon Terrine served with thin slices of toasted baguettes. The recipe seems extremely easy to follow and executed 48 hours in advance, this dish really reduces the Christmas cooking stress to a bare minimum. The original recipe is designed to be made as one terrine to serve slices for more then ten people, however I am adapting it to serve in individual small terrines instead. The taste turns out to be amazing, soft smoked salmon with a burst of quick pickled celery to cut through the creamy richness inside. A special recipe that everyone should have in their repertoire.
For the Salmon Terrine
- Sunflower oil for greasing
- 500-600g sliced smoked salmon
- 200g tub crème fraîche
- 2 x 280g tubs full fat cream cheese (we like Philadelphia)
- Finely grated zest and juice 1 lemon
- 11⁄2 tbsp grated horseradish from a jar
- 2 fillets (about 200g) hot-smoked salmon
- 1⁄2 bunch chives, finely chopped
- 1 small bunch dill, finely chopped
- 2 spring onions, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp pink peppercorns, lightly bashed in a pestle and mortar
For the Pickled Celery
- 30ml cider vinegar
- 30g caster sugar
- 4 large celery sticks, chopped
- Redcurrant berries and toasted baguette slices to serve (optional)
1. For the quick-pickled celery, mix the vinegar and sugar in a glass or ceramic bowl, add 2 large pinches of salt and the celery, toss well, then set aside for 1 hour.
2. Grease, then neatly line 3 individual tins with cling film leaving lots of overhang (you may need 2 pieces). Neatly cover the base of the tins with smoked salmon slices. This will be the top when it’s turned out. Line the sides of the tins with more slices of smoked salmon, overlapping slightly, so they overhang the sides – don’t leave gaps. Reserve the rest of the salmon slices for the bottom of the finished terrines.
3. Whizz the crème fraîche and cream cheese in a food processor with the lemon zest and juice, horseradish and one of the hot- smoked salmon fillets. Season well with pepper and a little salt.
4. Add the herbs, spring onions and pink peppercorns to the creamy mixture, then flake in the remaining hot-smoked salmon fillet and mix with a wooden spoon.
5. Spread one third of the cream cheese mix into the tin, then sprinkle over half the pickled celery, drained of the liquid. Spread another third of the mixture over the top, followed by the remaining celery. Top with the remaining mixture.
6. Lay the rest of the salmon slices on the top, then neatly fold over the overhanging salmon.
7. Cover with the overhanging cling film to enclose. Transfer to the fridge overnight.
8. Take the terrines out of the fridge 10 minutes before serving, unwrap the cling film, then carefully invert onto a platter. Serve with redcurrant berries and toasted baguette slices.