We take traditional rillettes out of the charcuterie category by using smoked white fish instead of pork. Faintly sweet sautéed fennel complements the delicate flavor of the fish, while tangy crème fraîche and mascarpone cheese make the spread rich and silky. It’s delicious at room temperature, making it perfect for Easter brunch.
Slideshow:More Whitefish Recipes
1 cup (1/4-inch-diced) fennel bulb
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons lemon zest, divided
1 (8-ounce) container crème fraîche
1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
8 ounces smoked whitefish, flaked into pieces
1 tablespoon fennel fronds
1/8 teaspoon piment d’Espelette, or a pinch of cayenne pepper
Crackers and crudités, for serving
How to Make It
Place fennel, oil, fennel seeds, and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over low, and cook until fennel is soft and caramelized, about 30 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons lemon zest. Remove from heat, and let cool completely.
Set a medium bowl in an ice bath. Add crème fraîche and mascarpone cheese to prepared bowl, and whisk until smooth. Add remaining 1 tablespoon zest and lemon juice. Using a rubber spatula, fold smoked fish into crème fraîche mixture, and fold in fennel mixture. Transfer to a serving bowl, and smooth top. Cover and chill at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.
Let rillettes stand at room temperature 30 minutes before serving. Garnish with fennel fronds and piment d’Espelette. Serve with crackers and crudités.
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