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My family are not religious but come from a mixture of different faiths so we have re-appropriated Christmas as our own personal food and gift giving festival. Yes we still have the tree (though sadly not this year with all the renovations being done to my parents new house, turkey and all the trimmings, but we take this time of year more to celebrate our love for each other, and the one love we all share: a love for good food, wine and chocolate. This considered, at Christmas we always treat ourselves to the best of the best when it comes to quality, which means organic fish (especially our festive salmon – my Dad hates it and it is always a bit much during the year to really splurge on something just for my Mum and I), meat and dairy.
I’ve loved working on recipes that show how I feed my happy this year (do you remember my Late Summer Soft Cheeseboard, which would actually be perfectly welcome as part of a festive spread, even though summer is long gone?) and this one is no exception. Source your ingredients from an organic Christmas market, and either make up little, single serve jars you can see in the background with fresh toast (ramekins leftover from supermarket desserts work perfectly) or handmade crackers for a starter, or big jars for lunchtimes.
The key here is to use good organic hot smoked and poached salmon, and creme fraiche (though you should be able to source good organic ingredients for the entire dish. If you’re struggling with this you can always poach your own from fillets of organic regular and smoked salmon, and while I do prefer organic gelatine sheets for the jelly if you can get them, you can use 2g of agar flakes instead, which are much easier to source organic. The terrine is also delicious without the jelly, though perhaps slightly less festive. This should serve 4 (generously) to 6 people depending on if you’re going in a starter or lunch direction.
To make the terrine, lightly flake the salmon together in a small bowl, taking care to still keep some chunks.
Stir in the spring onions, chopped capers, dill, creme fraiche and lemon zest until everything is combined. Season to taste with lemon juice, salt and pepper, and press into clean glass jars leaving about a centimetre of space at the top for the jelly.
To make the jelly, soak the half gelatine sheet in a bowl of cold water.
Meanwhile, combine the tonic water, 20ml of cold water and gin in a small saucepan and heat so that it is hot to the touch but has not started to simmer.
Squeeze the water out of the gelatine sheet and whisk it into the hot liquid. Set this aside to cool for about 5 minutes before pouring between the terrine jars to seal the terrine. If you have any leftover, floating dill fronds in the gel looks pretty.
Allow the jelly to set in the fridge for at least 3 hours before serving at room temperature.
I'm a food writer living in London and the English Countryside. Welcome to my online diary where I share easy, weeknight recipes, foodie travel diaries and some of the best places I've eaten out recently.
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One Pan Pescatarian: 100 Delicious Dinners – Veggie, Vegan, Fish
My second cookbook contains 100 delicious dinner recipes, all of which are either vegetarian, vegan or which celebrate fish and seafood - all cooked in either one pot or one pan.*