So, something for the adults at Easter: Rachel Allen has shared some exclusive recipes with me to share on this rather wintery Easter Sunday. I really hope you like them. Kerrygold block butter is really good as it is not only naturally soft butter, but it is produced from the milk of grass fed cows! What with all the controversy in the news lately about where our food is coming from, I think its important to know that the cows are kept well and fed well.
Rillettes of Fresh and Smoked Salmon with Melba Toast and Cucumber Pickle
Calories per serving (without toast): 198 Fat per serving: 14.7g
- 75g (3oz) Kerrygold block butter, now softer
- 200g (7oz) smoked wild or organic Irish salmon
- 1 tsp water
- 200g (7oz) skinless fresh salmon fillet
- Freshly ground pepper and nutmeg
- Lemon juice, to taste
- 6 slices medium-cut white bread from a large sliced loaf
- Melt 15g (1/2oz) Kerrygold butter in a saucepan. Add the smoked salmon and 1 tsp of water. Cover and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until it no longer looks opaque. Cool and refrigerate until cold.
- At the same time, put the fresh salmon fillet into a saucepan and cover with water. Heat until almost boiling, then turn off the heat and let the salmon poach in the hot water for 5 minutes. Remove, cool and refrigerate until cold.
- When cold, use two forks to shred both the fresh and smoked salmon – you are aiming for a coarse, slightly stringy texture.
- Beat the remaining Kerrygold butter in a bowl, then add the salmon and mix together, still using a fork (do not use a food processor). Season with pepper and nutmeg. Taste and add lemon juice as necessary. Cover and chill.
- Just before serving, make the Melba toast. Toast the bread on both sides. Cut the crusts off immediately and then split in half to create very thin slices. Scrape off any soft crumb, cut into triangles and put back under the grill, untoasted side up for a few seconds until the edges curl up. Serve with the rillettes.
Tip: Salmon rillettes will keep perfectly in the refrigerator for 5-6 days provided they are sealed with clarified butter. To make clarified butter, melt 75g (3oz) Kerrygold butter gently in a saucepan. Allow it to stand for a few minutes, and then skim off the crusty white layer of salt particles from the top. Underneath this crust there is clear liquid butter, which is the clarified butter. The milky liquid at the bottom can be discarded or used in a white sauce. Pack the salmon rillettes into individual pots or a larger pottery terrine and level the surface. Carefully pour the clarified butter over the top. Chill to form a sealed layer.
Calories per serving: 35 Fat per serving: 0
- 1 cucumber, thinly sliced (unpeeled)
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- 25g (1oz) caster sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 200ml (7fl oz) cider vinegar
- Combine the cucumber and onion sliced in a bowl (not a metal one). Add the sugar, salt and vinegar.
- Place in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator and leave for at least 4-5 hours or overnight before using.
Tip: Keeps well for up to a week in the refrigerator.
Additional Recipe Tips
- Salmon Rillettes on Sour Dough: Toast or char-grill a slice of sour dough bread, spread with some rillette mixture. Top with a few tiny rocket leaves and some chive or wild garlic flowers.
- Salmon Rilettes on Cucumber Slices: Cut two cucumbers into 5mm (1/4 inch) slices. Spoon a blob of the rillettes mixture on top of each cucumber slice. Garnish with sprigs of chervil, chives or wild garlic flowers. Arrange 3 on a plate with a little salad in the centre or serve as a canapé.
- Extra Posh Salmon Rillettes: Line 6-8 individual moulds or ramekins with cling film, then put a slice of smoked salmon into each mould. Fill the moulds with the rillettes, then fold the ends of the smoked salmon over the rillettes to cover. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for at least one hour.
Almond Brittle Cake
Calories per serving: 623 Fat per serving: 35.5g
- 150g (5oz) Kerrygold block butter, now softer
- 175g (6oz) caster sugar
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- 150g (5oz) self-raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 75g (3oz) ground almonds
- 2 tsp milk
- vegetable oil, for greasing
- 100g (4oz) granulated sugar
- 100g (4oz) whole almonds (unskinned)
Almond Butter Icing
- 225g (8oz) Kerrygold block butter, now softer
- 450g (1lb) icing sugar
- ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
2 x 18cm (7 inch) deep sandwich tins or cake tins
- Preheat the oven to 190°C, fan oven 170°C, Gas Mark 5. Grease the cake tins with a little Kerrygold butter and line the bases with baking paper or greaseproof paper.
- Beat the Kerrygold butter and sugar together until light and creamy, then gradually add the eggs, beating well between each addition. Sieve the flour and baking powder together, then add to the creamed mixture with the ground almonds. Stir in the milk.
- Divide equally between the prepared tins. Bake for 22-25 minutes.
- While the cakes are cooking, make the almond brittle. First, grease a baking sheet with a little vegetable oil. Next, combine the sugar and almonds in a heavy saucepan. Put over a medium-low heat until the sugar turns caramel colour, carefully rotating the pan until the almonds are covered – this will only take a few minutes. Very carefully pour the mixture onto the baking sheet. Cool. (TAKE GREAT CARE when making caramel and NEVER touch it – it reaches an extremely high temperature. Keep a watchful eye on the pan as you make it – don’t just leave it to cook).
- Remove the cakes from the oven and cool in the tins for a few minutes, then turn out and cool on a wire rack.
- To make the icing, beat the Kerrygold butter until soft, then gradually beat in the icing sugar, using a hand-held electric mixer. Beat in the vanilla extract. Chop half the cooled almond brittle finely and stir it into the icing.
- To assemble, spilt each cake in half. Spread with butter icing, then sandwich the two cakes together with more icing. Spread the rest of the icing around the top and sides of the cake.
- Break off some shards of almond brittle and arrange on top of the cake. Coarsely chop the rest and sprinkle over the top of the cake.
Tip: Use whole unskinned hazelnuts instead of almonds for the brittle.
“Rachel Allen is promoting Kerrygold block butter which is naturally softer and produced from the milk of grass fed cows. For more information, recipes and tips from Rachel, visit www.facebook.com/KerrygoldUK”