Friday, March 5, 2010

Trying something new.

I've been meaning to write about this creation since I made it for Christmas dinner. But I forgot that I'd taken a photo of it (what's the point of recipes without photos?) and only just discovered it a couple of days ago.

In my family, we always make a first course for Christmas dinner, which, more often than not, is a seafood dish. My auntie's favourite such dish is shrimps in marie rose sauce in half an avocado. So I knew I wanted to do something with fish, and had asked my sister to bring some sliced smoked marlin from Jamaica (better than smoked salmon, I swear!) for whatever it was I as going to make. I wanted it to be interesting in terms of eating and beautiful to look at. I'd also spent anarmandaleg buying some smoked salmon here and some white fish. I looked through my recipe books for inspiration and found a smoked salmon terrine.

When sliced it was beautiful, because there were layers of colour: the pink of the salmon, white fish, dotted here and there with green capers and peppercorns.

So I set about making my terrine with caution and trepidation. For some reason, anything that looks like it could have come out of a Cordon Bleu cookery book absolutely terrifies me! Completely intimidating! Instead of using only smoked salmon for the outer layer, I added also my precious smoked marlin, and some inexpensive white fish formed the bulk of the internal layers. The dish was set in a custard of eggs, cream and creme fraiche (just add a teaspoon of yogurt to a cup of fresh cream, leave it to sit at room temperature for an hour or two, and you'll have creme fraiche) and a sprinkling of chopped capers and brine-soaked green peppercorns.

The whole dish was baked in the oven, then left outside to cool. I put two heavy tins of tomatoes or beans on top the terrine and then left it to chill in the fridge until I was ready to serve it. A day later, and I still didn't know how the terrine looked! You have to wait to cut it until you're ready to serve it and waiting is not something I do so well! So I was completely excited when it was time to serve it. With a very sharp knife, I carefully cut slices at maybe 2 inches wide, and the beauty of the terrine was revealed!

It was also, by the way, quite delicious. A good combination of textures and colours and tastes. Not so scary after all, and a definite crowd-pleaser!

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