FISH TERRINES are found on many Greek islands. For this one from the island of Chios, the fish is simmered in a fragrant broth of orange and lemon juices, seasoned with cinnamon, cloves, saffron and bay leaves. In my version, I have substituted a combination of orange juice and zest for the Chian bitter oranges.
This recipe is a wonderful illustration of many influences, both Eastern and Western, that come into play in this part of the Aegean. The original that inspired my version, attributed to Marianthi Kalouta, was published by
Only seven miles of sea stand between the Turkish coastal city of Çesme and Chios Town. Chian upper-class families like the Kaloutas often had close ties with Greeks living “on the other side” in Turkey, while women from the poorer villages of Chios found work in the homes of the wealthy residents of Izmir (formerly known as Smyrna), a once-flourishing cosmopolitan city a few miles north of Çesme. Greeks and Turks lived and prospered side by side in this beautiful city until 1922, when war broke out. After the Greeks were defeated in the last Greek-Turkish war, the armies of Kemal Atatürk almost completely destroyed Smyrna. Its Greek inhabitants, together with the Greeks living in the other towns of Turkey, returned to Greece as refugees.
Serve the chilled terrine as an appetizer, accompanied by steamed potatoes, beets and Swiss chard or other greens dressed in a simple lemon vinaigrette. You can also omit the gelatin that sets the terrine and serve the fish and broth warm in bowls as a fish course.
In a large, deep skillet, heat the oil and sauté the leeks and onion over medium heat, stirring often, until just soft, about 4 minutes. Add
Add the remaining
Remove and discard the cinnamon stick and bay leaves and puree the broth mixture in a food mill or food processor. Pass it through a sieve into a bowl, pressing on the solids to extract all the juice. Discard the solids. Taste the broth and adjust the seasonings.
Meanwhile, add the fish to the remaining broth mixture and let cool completely.
Remove the mold from the freezer and pour in the fish mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight, or until set.
To unmold, dip the mold briefly in hot water and invert onto a plate.
Omit the gelatin and serve the fish and broth as a soup, adding some steamed potatoes, carrots and spinach or Swiss chard leaves.
© 2000 All rights reserved. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.