Not quite potted salmon, but a delicate mixture of smoked trout and smoked salmon. This is a fish version of the French dish usually made with pork or duck that is served with crusty bread and eaten on a picnic. Cooked par-smoked trout and cooked smoked salmon are shredded and mixed with crushed peppercorns and butter. I sometimes pour a layer of melted butter over each one and scatter a few extra peppercorns on top, then chill to set. A perfect, hassle-free starter or picnic pâté.
- 4 x 110g (4 oz) par-smoked trout fillets, skin on
- 600ml (1 pint) fish stock or water
- 3 fresh or dried bay leaves
- 350g (12 oz) unsliced smoked salmon (royal fillet), cut into 2.5cm (1 inch) cubes
- 350g (12 oz) softened butter
- 1-2 tablespoons green or pink peppercorns in brine, drained and crushed
- fine sea salt
- Place the trout fillets skin-side up in a deep frying pan that will just take them, and cover with the fish stock. Add the bay leaves, bring to a simmer and poach for 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool in the liquid (the fillets will carry on cooking in the cooling liquid, but remain tender and juicy cooked this way).
- Melt 40g of the butter in a frying pan and sauté the cubed smoked salmon until just opaque. Cool completely.
- When cold, remove the cooked trout from the liquid and peel off the skin.
- Using a fork, shred both the cooked fishes together. Beat the remaining butter until very soft then beat the fish into it with the peppercorns. Taste and season well.
- Press into individual dishes, level and refrigerate until set and firm. Remove from the fridge 15 minutes before serving to come to room temperature. Serve with melba toast or something equally crunchy - breadsticks are fun.