turn that frown upside down

food detective

Categories: Appetizers, Fish and Seafood, Cocktail Party, Breakfast/Brunch, Sources, Eating Out, Posted on February 21, 2015 by Sandy Bergsten

Last month United threw us a curveball. A seven-hour delay in the Denver airport for our connecting flight home. Being held hostage by the airlines is never fun but this time I was carrying special cargo, my little Norwich terrier Willie. We waited for our crew to arrive at the gate for an hour, sat on the plane for 2 ½ hours for mechanics to figure out why some light would not go on. Then we de-boarded and spent another 3 hours sitting in the terminal as the monitor pledged we would be re-boarding every twenty minutes. Finally my husband said enough. He called his son who lives in Denver and asked if he could pick us up. He made another call and booked us a room at the Four Seasons, with that Willie and my ears perked up.

A dreary day turned instantly bright. We got to see JR’s new apartment. We were treated like royalty at a four-star hotel. We took hot showers, Willie got a warm bath. We used a mountain of luxurious towels and countless small bottles of high-end bath products. But best of all we got to go on a double date with my husband’s son and his new girlfriend at The Kitchen, a trendy downtown restaurant. No one was the wiser that we had smashed Willie back into his carry-on and brought him along as a furry fifth wheel.

We caught up over dozens of oysters, a lavish charcuterie platter and an amazing jar of potted salmon. I instantly knew I would have to invoke my inner food detective to try to replicate this fishy find. Here is my stab at salmon rillettes.

Start with a half-pound of grilled salmon. Discard the skin and any dark flesh on the underside. Flake the salmon and set aside.

Over medium-low heat sauté a chopped shallot in olive oil until translucent, take care not to brown it. Remove from the heat and cool.

Room temperature unsalted butter is the secret to making fish rillettes.

Coarsely chop a quarter pound of smoked salmon.

Place the smoked salmon and the room-temperature butter in the bowl of a food processor.

Pulse to make a coarse paste.

Fresh lemon juice and freshly grated nutmeg give this dish subtle depth.

Add the flaked grilled salmon, sautéed shallot, lemon juice, grated nutmeg and ¼ teaspoon of salt.

Pulse until incorporated. Check for seasoning.

Spoon into a bowl, cover and chill for at least 2 hours. Bring to room temperature before serving.


Delicious as a dip with artesian flat bread crackers.

Or for a passable appetizer select a thin pastry cup, such as Siljans.

Made extra special when topped with fresh salmon caviar.

Spoon a tablespoon of rillettes into pastry cups and crown with a dollop of roe.

Nothing like a new recipe…

… and a room with a view to turn any frown upside down.


February 26, 2015

wow....THANK YOU, United....if THIS recipe is the result....wow! lucky us! sounds more than a 'stab' at deconstructing 'rillettes'....impressive and SO DELICIOUS sounding....will turn any face into a smile! as will this adorable pix of adorable Willie....wonder: is The Kitchen in Denver a sister-restaurant to The Kitchen in Chicago? very trendy bistro/farm to table/local foods/ unique spot....newly opened

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