“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.”
Nelson Mandela, 1918-2013
Meet the Fabulous Frasers. Julia, my sister-in-law, is the glue within the family, ensuring that we all meet up with each other and has the kindest heart. Malcolm, my brother-in-law, is the handy one who always looks after the pool or to whom we go with anything that needs fixing. He thinks laterally and comes up with ingenious ways to fix a problem. One year, we took it in turns all day to blow dry a faulty pool pump with a hairdryer, because he diagnosed it was because of water damage. And he was right.
This recipe requires a bit of engineering and patience. It does take a little effort, but it is worth it in the end.
680g (1.5lb) salmon fillet, skinned and small bones removed * 4 eggs * 375ml (12 floz) double cream * 15g (½oz) chervil, finely chopped * 225g (8oz) button mushrooms, diced * 1 tsp lemon juice * 30g (1oz) butter * 1 tbsp onion, grated * 2 tbsp white wine * 15 large spinach leaves * 370g (13oz) smoked salmon, thinly sliced * salt & freshly ground black pepper
Purée the salmon fillet and eggs in a food processor until smooth. Push through a fine sieve into a glass bowl. Place over iced water and gradually mix in the cream. Stir in the chervil and season with salt and pepper. Cover and leave in the fridge. Toss the mushrooms into the lemon juice. Melt the butter in a frying pan and cook the onion, stirring for 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for a further 4 minutes. Add the wine and cook until evaporated. Season with salt and pepper, then remove from the heat. Dip the spinach leaves in boiling water, then remove them carefully with a slotted spoon and lay them flat on paper towels.
Pre-heat the oven to 170°C/325°F/Gas 3. Brush a 20x7x9cm (8x3x4 inch) terrine or loaf tin with oil and line with baking paper. Line the base and sides with smoked salmon leaving enough hanging over the side to cover the top, Spoon in enough salmon to half fill the terrine. Lay the spinach over the salmon mixture, then spread with the mushrooms and another layer of spinach.
Cover with the remaining salmon mixture, fold over the smoked salmon and cover with a piece of buttered baking paper. Place the terrine in a large baking dish and pour water into the baking tray to come halfway up the side of the terrine. Bake this bain-marie for 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the terrine comes out clean. Leave for 5 minutes before unmoulding onto a serving plate. Peel off the baking paper, cover and chill in the fridge. Serve with bread and garnishing salad.
I have collated all my favourite recipes into one book FOOD FOR ALL OCCASIONS.
This recipe comes from the section THE FRENCH CONNECTION, a selection of authentic French recipes.
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