It's that time again -- the Jewish New Year holidays. I grew up with the classic gefilte fish served as a starter at Rosh Hashanah and as a light main course for breaking the fast after Yom Kippur. Gefilte fish is basically a fish puree, poached and served chilled.
Among my friends and family, people either love it or don't want to see it on their plate. I came up with this terrine as a response to the gefilte fish naysayers. I am happy to report that many of them come back for seconds once they tuck into this tasty reinterpretation.
Ground whitefish and salmon are blended together. Many markets carry ground whitefish during the holidays, but you will have to grind the salmon. If you can't find the whitefish ground, process both the whitefish and salmon filets in the food processor, making sure to remove the skin and all the bones.
This terrine is delicious as a first course or a light main course. It can be served in overlapping slices on a large rectangular platter with crisp crackers, matzo or thinly sliced pumpernickel bread. You can also serve it on individual plates with mixed greens lightly dressed with a simple vinaigrette and a dollop of the Herbed Horseradish Cream on the side. Make sure to have some sliced challah on the table. (I like to make a sandwich of challah, sauce and fish terrine -- really yummy.)
Remember: this terrine needs to be made a day ahead of serving because it must be chilled.
Whitefish and Salmon Terrine with Herbed Horseradish Cream
Serves 10 to 12 as a first course and 6 as a main course.
1/4 cup olive oil
4 medium carrots, finely chopped
3 leeks, white and light green parts only, cleaned and finely chopped
4 large eggs
6 tablespoons matzo meal
1 cup vegetable or chicken stock
1 1/2 pounds ground whitefish or a mixture of whitefish, pike and buffalo fish
3/4 pound fresh salmon filet, skin removed and ground
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
Juice of 1 lime
Herbed Horseradish Cream:
1/2 cup prepared horseradish cream
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons creme fraiche
1/2 lime, freshly squeezed
Finely chopped fresh herbs such as chives, dill or parsley, optional
Lemon slices and parsley sprigs for garnish
1. Heat oil in a medium skillet and sauté carrots and leeks over medium heat until softened, about 5-7 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly coat a large (91/2-inch x 51/2-inch x 2 1/2-inch) loaf pan with cooking spray.
3. Beat the eggs with the matzo meal in a large bowl with an electric mixer. When well combined, add the broth, cooled carrots and leeks, salt, pepper and sugar, and continue to beat until well blended. Add the whitefish and salmon and mix well, making sure the ground fish is completely blended with the other ingredients.
4. Pour the fish mixture into the prepared pan. Pick up the pan with both hands and slam down on counter to settle any air bubbles. Sprinkle with the lime juice. Bake for about 45 to 50 minutes or until a long wooden skewer inserted in the just center comes out clean. (Start checking after 45 minutes.) Remove the terrine from the oven and allow it to cool for half an hour. Cover with foil and chill overnight.
5. For the horseradish cream: Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk well, making sure the oil is emulsified. Taste for seasoning. Transfer to a serving dish, cover and refrigerate.
6. To serve: run a knife around the edges of the pan and invert it onto some foil. Turn it back over onto a rectangular platter. Slice into serving pieces, overlapping them on the platter, and garnish with lemon slices and parsley. Or serve on individual plates on a bed of arugula. Serve with the horseradish-herb cream.
Advance Preparation: The terrine and sauce can be made 2 days ahead and refrigerated.
(Diane Rossen Worthington is an authority on new American cooking. She is the author of 20 cookbooks, including most recently "Seriously Simple Parties" (Chronicle Books, 2012), and also a James Beard award-winning radio show host. You can contact her at www.seriouslysimple.com.)