My paternal Grandmother was French-Canadian. This Salmon Rillettes recipe is an homage to an appetizer type spread similar to her Cretons recipe she used to make for my grandfather. Cretons uses buttery salmon instead of the pork most traditionally used in Cretons. The French term for this appetizer is Rillettes, which is a preparation of meat similar to a pate. Rillettes (and Cretons) are usually eaten on toast or crostini and served at room temperature.
After introducing my husband and daughter to the Cretons recipe, this is now the type of thing my husband likes to prepare as an appetizer for guests or serve as part of our charcuterie platter. My husband is famous for preparing a small plate of meats, cheeses, crackers and spreads like this as an appetizer or late snack. The salmon is baked in the oven and then flaked apart and mixed with a small amount of butter and olive oil (instead of mayonnaise) to make a spread. You can season this up any way you choose, but we like a pop of flavor from the cayenne and the smoky flavor from the paprika. Mixed with the acidity of the fresh lemon and the brightness from the fresh herbs and this Salmon Rillettes Spread is amazing.
It’s so delicious that you should immediately try it. Here’s a bite just for you!
- 12 ounce salmon, bones removed
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon smoke paprika
- chopped chives
- chopped green onions
- smoked paprika
- Preheat the over to 350 degrees F.
- Season the salmon on both sides lightly with salt and pepper. Bake about 15 minutes or until just cooked and easily flakes apart.
- Remove from oven and set aside to slightly cool.
- Meanwhile, in a bowl, thoroughly blend together the butter and olive oil until smooth and creamy.
- Stir in the freshly squeezed lemon juice and stir to combine.
- If the salmon has skin, remove it and discard. Then, with a fork, flake the cooked salmon into the butter mixture.
- Add chives, cayenne, smoked paprika and salt and pepper, to taste. Blend to combine.
- Serve with grilled baguette slices or crackers.