Terrine de Truites

Trout Terrine

Somehow there never seem to be enough cold fish dishes, so this very good terrine is worth knowing about. It makes an admirable lunch on a hot day or a first course to a formal meal. Local river trout, once known as perdrix des eaux douces, are used in the Ardèche; here rainbow trout may be more easily available.

Ingredients

  • 4 medium-sized trout
  • 150 ml(¼ pt) plus 4 tablespoons dry white wine
  • bouquet garni
  • salt, milled pepper
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 100 g( oz) button mushrooms, finely diced
  • 150 ml(¼ pt) crème fraîche or whipping cream
  • grated nutmeg
  • finely chopped chervil or parsley

Pastry

  • 300 g(10½ oz) plain flour
  • a pinch of salt
  • 100 g( oz) butter, softened
  • 1 large egg

Method

Clean the fish, rinse in cold water and dry on kitchen paper. Pour 150 ml(¼ pt) wine and 150 ml(¼ pt) water into a pan large enough to hold the fish in a single layer. Add the bouquet garni and some salt and pepper and the fish. Bring the liquid slowly to the boil, cover and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile make the pastry: sift the flour and salt on to a marble slab or into a wide shallow bowl. Make a well in the centre and mix in the butter and egg, using your fingertips, until well combined.

Remove all the flesh from the fish and flake into a bowl. Stir in almost all the beaten egg (reserve a little to glaze the pastry), the mushrooms, 4 tablespoons wine, the cream and a generous seasoning of nutmeg, the chervil and some salt and pepper. Mix the ingredients together gently, keeping a sharp eye open for any errant fish bones.

On a floured board roll out three quarters of the pastry and line a well-buttered 1 litre(2 pt) capacity terrine. Spoon the fish filling into the terrine and cover with the remaining pastry, joining the edges firmly together. Make leaves with any pastry trimmings and decorate the top of the terrine. Cut three steam vents and brush the top with the reserved egg.

Bake in a moderately hot oven (Mark 4, 180°C, 350°F) for 50–60 minutes until the pastry is crisp. Cover the lid with greaseproof paper if it is browning too quickly. Remove from the oven, allow to cool in the terrine and cut into slices when cold. Serve with a sauce verte or a lemony mayonnaise.

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