I think. And let me tell you, I was thinking about this all day! It started with an Instagram photo that my friend (I’m delusional-remember? I have pretend friends.) Anthony Bourdain posted. He looks incredibly thin these days. I hope he isn’t feasting on nose candy.
This is not the photo from Instagram. Bourdain looks overfed in this photo compared to the IG one. He’s too thin.
He needs to go back to Lyon to allow Paul Bocuse force-feed him like a duck on his way to becoming a foie gras supplier!
This is the guy that Bourdain needs. Perhaps he could roast another Hare for Bourdain or force feed him!
I’m getting off topic here.
Anyway, if you like to entertain—even if you don’t like to entertain. I have a great, great appetizer for you. I know, I know, prep work and the thought of actually cooking and baking and following complex recipes stresses you out. Right?
Don’t worry, this appetizer is simple and easy to prepare. The other great thing is that it is more on the healthier side than the unhealthier side. You can make it ahead and forget about it until the guests come.
It’s funny but give me a new recipe and I’m a happy woman. I love classic French cooking. I love Middle Eastern cooking. I love baking. But the one thing I’ve always found challenging is finding a decent hors d’ oeuvre or appetizer that isn’t too heavy, too fatty, or takes too much time to prepare from scratch. Sure. I can buy the frozen kind, which I do—but I like to have at least one or two home-made little treats that we can enjoy before dinner.
Back to Bourdain. Trust me, this is going somewhere.
Thanks to my friend Anthony Tony, Bonaparte and I have enjoyed some wonderful meals at Frenchie restaurant in Paris. I’ve stocked up on some great kitchen supplies at E.Dehilleran.
If you get a thrill at shopping for cooking and kitchen supplies, this is the place to shop when in Paris. I needed a lot of time here! Thank you Tony!
And I discovered chef Eric Ripert through the bromance of these two guys. I’ve written to these men in hopes that I could join them on their food adventure—we could be a great trio. But they gave me the brush off. A real throwmance.
Yeah. This is the way the two of these guys spoke about my near-stalking. Bourdain just smugly paid me no mind. Ripert looks like he could very well call the gendarmes on me!
Regardless, last year in 2015, I was, once again, perusing the internet in hopes of finding good appetizer for Christmas.
Guess who I was entertaining for dinner that Christmas? Not John Meyer. It was my son, to Meyer’s left. I miss Jake’s “Jesus Jake” look–after all, my first born son is like the second coming of you-know-who! (You can see that I still live vicariously through my grown children. Mommy isn’t right in the head)
I was interested in Rillettes when what should my wandering eyes appear on the screen before me but a link to Chef Eric Ripert’s Salmon Rilette.
I figured it would be great to try making them because I certainly would never be invited to his restaurant Le Bernardin, where I could enjoy his salmon rillette on toast.
I would love to have dinner here, but Ripert would run for his life if he found out I was coming!! Does he not realize that I would be with a bona-fide Frenchman? Bonaparte could
complain talk to Ripert in French and I could once again be ignored!
I had to make them! Here’s his recipe if you can’t click on the link above:
2 cups white wine
1 tablespoon minced shallots
1-pound fresh salmon fillet, cut
into 1-inch pieces
3 ounces smoked salmon, diced
2 tablespoons thinly sliced chive
½ cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice Sea salt and pepper to taste. NOTE: I add fresh dill for a bit of depth.
In a shallow pan, bring the white wine and shallots to a boil. When the shallots are cooked, add the salmon and gently poach the salmon until it is just barely opaque. Remove the salmon from the wine and immediately drain on a towel-lined sheet pan. Strain the wine, reserving the shallots. Place the salmon and shallots in the refrigerator to cool.
I cooked the shallot in Mouton Cadet Sauvignon Blanc. It’s a good wine for cooking. I then added the cut salmon and poached for under three minutes
Combine the poached salmon and shallots in a mixing bowl with the smoked salmon, chives and some of the mayonnaise and lemon juice—use the mayonnaise and lemon juice sparingly to begin, and adjust to taste.
After the salmon was poached and all was drained, it was placed in the fridge to cool. Then I added the..
Smoked salmon and other ingredients.
Everything blended and ….
Mix the rillette—do not over-mix or mix too hard. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add fresh dill like I do if you would like. Serve cold with toasted baguette slices. We also serve on those little pumpernickel slices.
Put into jars. I actually doubled the recipe so we would have extra.
These are great with Pouilly-Fuissé. And the amazing thing is Bonaparte couldn’t get enough of the rilette–and he isn’t much of a fish eater but he loves these. It’s definitely been a keeper. Second Christmas in a row that I’ve made these and it looks like the rilette will be made a lot during the year!
And there you have it! It is the best appetizer you will ever make—even if you are not a fan of salmon, you will enjoy making this because it is that easy!
So really, I have Anthony Bourdain to thank for this. Because if I never watched his show, I would have never found out about Eric Ripert. And then I would have passed the Salmon Rilette recipe by…and then….
Thank you Chef Ripert for the greatest appetizer recipe on earth! Encore Merci!
A good French appetizer. A good French wine. Here’s a beautiful French Song. Juliette Greco “Sous le Ciel de Paris”. I swear every time I hear this song I can visualize just wandering around St. Germain…