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Terrine

Posted by Jeanne on December 21, 2010

One day, several months ago, we were watching Bourdain’s show on the Travel Channel and Curt turned to me and said kind of wistfully, “Make me a terrine?”

Of all the millions of things he could request that I cook – THIS is what Curt wants.  I suppose I knew he was weird when I married him.

I first heard of terrines in Ruhlman’s book The Soul of a Chef.  I’ve read the book over and over and over.  The book consists of three sections, and the first documents several chefs as they take the Certified Master Chef (CMC) exam at the Culinary Institute of America.

Charcuterie is featured prominently in the CMC exam, as a method of using scraps that might otherwise be wasted and as a classical technique.  Charcuterie is an old form of cooking, and was developed from the need to preserve meats and fish in the days before refrigeration.  Sausages, bacon, salami, pate, confit – are all examples of charcuterie.  It’s one of those things that makes me wonder “how did they come up with that?  How many times did it have to suck before it worked?  How many people died from poorly preserved meats, and how manymeh but not deadly sausages were there before there was awesome kielbasa?”

These are the things I think about at night.  That and the poor bastard that first ate an artichoke.

We used the recipe for shrimp and salmon terrine from Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn’s book Charcuterie.  I won’t reproduce the recipe here – because you really, really should buy this book.  If you’re at all interested in old-school preservation techniques, it’s absolutely fascinating.  I can’t wait to try more of the recipes in this book.

Spinach, shrimp mousse, and sauteed mushrooms.

Laying the salmon in the center.  You put in two-thirds of the mousse mixture, lay in the salmon, and then top with the rest of the mousse.  Then you cook it in a water bath until it reaches an internal temperature of 140F.

Once it’s cooked, you cool it a bit, weight it, and then chill it.  And then comes the terrifying part:  slicing it.  I truly had no idea what to expect, or if it would even hold together when I took the weights off and unwrapped it.

Success!  IT WORKED!  We shared some of it with the neighbors, along with some rillettes, toasted bread, and dijon mustard.

Sometimes preservation is a beautiful thing.

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4 Responses to “Terrine”

  1. Joe Neumann said

    Looks tasty, so what will be ur next adventure? I still have plans for head cheese, but u could do something else slightly off kilter

    • Jeanne said

      I’m not sure – there are a lot of different cured pork recipes and some sausage recipes I’d like to try. Also I kind of want to make my own bacon.

  2. Carla said

    it was yummy! i fear the blood sausage…

  3. Jack said

    I have actually made one of these. My Mom had a pan to make it in although she had never used it. I love buying strange kitchen implements at estate sales.

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