Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Salmon Orange Pâté

I've been on a salmon binge lately. Yes, yes, I know. I am supposed to be "Beyond Salmon." But the truth is that salmon is a perfect fish to serve cold (so are tuna and sturgeon, but those are a bit of a splurge), and since I wanted to bring some fish appetizer to the Christmas fair at work, I decided on a salmon-orange pâté. This pâté is to salmon like rillette is to pork -- absolutely decadent.

Serves 8 as a first course, or 16 as an hors d'oeuvre

1 cup dry white wine
2 oranges zested and juiced
3 Tbsp maple syrup or honey
1 Lb salmon fillet with or without skin
4 oz smoked salmon, finely chopped
1 shallot, minced
1 Tbsp capers, drained and chopped
2 Tbsp chopped dill and/or parsley
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
2 Tbsp mayo
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper
  1. Remove butter from the fridge to make sure it softens by the time salmon is ready.
  2. Bring wine, orange juice (reserve orange zest for later), and maple syrup, to a boil in a medium skillet that is just large enough to hold your salmon fillet.
  3. Season salmon with salt and pepper on both sides and add to the skillet skin side down.
    As soon as the liquid returns to a simmer, reduce heat to low, cover the skillet and poach salmon at a bare simmer for 8 minutes per inch of thickness. To test for doneness, separate the flakes in the thickest part with a fork and peek inside. Salmon is done when the flakes separate, but are still translucent in the center.
  4. Remove salmon to a plate and cool completely. Peel off the skin (it should come off very easily after salmon is cooked).
  5. Flake poached salmon and mix it with reserved orange zest and all the other ingredients. Season with black pepper to taste and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 1 day. Let soften 10 minutes before serving. Serve on slices of baguette or crackers.


Anonymous said...

I love salmon. It's the first fish that I learned to cook. Now, I can add the different ways to cook it, which you've listed in my repetoire. This pate sounds really good. Thanks, Helen! This is exciting for me. ;-)))))


Kalyn Denny said...

This sounds just wonderful.

Sarah Bell said...

Hi Helen,
I whipped the salmon orange pate last night, but substituted a tablespoon of olive oil for mayonaise, used only two tablespoons of butter. I added an extra tablespoon of mustard. (I'm trying to cut back on my dairy intake and also didn't have any mayo on hand). It was absolutely delicious! I missed the creaminess of the butter and mayo, but there were so many other delicious tastes in it, I didn't care all that much. I have to admit, only recently have I embraced salmon as a regular meal. I eschewed it as way too fishy. However, when I took a taste of the smoked salmon, I nearly fainted from the pure joy of it. How did I go so many years without it!!

Anonymous said...

I made this the other night and it was very well received. I tried the fish after I poached and before I made the pate and it was so good that I may make that later this week.

Anonymous said...

OMG - my sister brought this for Christmas and I nearly swooned! Snagged the leftovers and ate until it was gone!