A picturesque, healthy fish starter

A simple terrine that will delight the eye as well as the palate makes an entry on Dr Chris Duckham's menu.

We have recently moved and taken the restaurant with us. Cote du Nord now occupies the breakfast room of a former guest house - just three miles from where we were. Although our customers are encouraged to enjoy an unhurried meal, we draw the line at them stopping so long that we need to serve them breakfast.

To celebrate moving there were some new dishes on the menu, including this terrine, served as a picturesque appetiser.

Terrine of smoked salmon and herring

For four people as an appetiser
You will need a very small terrine mould (10 x 6 x 4cm), (available from
good kitchen shops)
200g sliced smoked salmon
100g rollmop (pickled) herring fillet
50g unsalted butter at room temperature

  1. Line the terrine mould with cling film, leaving an overlap at the top to fold over once the terrine is ready.
  2. Carefully trim the sliced smoked salmon to yield rectangular pieces the size of the terrine. (Save the trimmings for a smoked salmon mousse or some sandwiches).
  3. Drain the herring fillets and pat dry with kitchen towels. Now place in a food processor with the butter and blitz on high speed until homogeneous.
  4. To assemble the terrine, lay a rectangle of smoked salmon in the mould and carefully spread over some of the herring butter. Place another rectangle of smoked salmon on top and press down gently. Then spread this with some more herring butter, repeating the layers of salmon and herring butter to the top of the terrine and finishing with a layer of salmon.
  5. Place in the coldest part of the fridge for 24 hours.
  6. To serve, gently remove the cling film covered terrine from the mould and slice carefully, with the cling film still on, with a sharp serrated knife. Place a slice on each of four small plates, gently remove the cling film, garnish with a few salad leaves and serve accompanied by a small crusty wholemeal roll.

and for the wine...
Decanter magazine advises: Salmon can be paired with any rich white wine including Chardonnay, Riesling or even some lighter reds. The herring calls for plenty of acid to stop the wine being overwhelmed, so white Burgundy or New World Sauvignon Blanc are good choices. Try:

La Chablisienne Marks & Spencer 2004, white Burgundy, France £7.99 Marks & Spencer stores. Decanter judges say: 'Honeyed nose with a touch of new wood.'

Waipara Hills Paradise Sauvignon Blanc 2005 £8.98 from House of Townend mail order (01482 586 582) www.hotwines.co.uk. Decanter judges say: 'Delicate herbal and minerally notes. Well balanced with nice, friendly acidity.'

More medal winning wine recommendations at decanter.com

Dr Duckham is a GP in Tongue and Armadale, Sutherland and runs Restaurant Cote du Nord, Kirtomy, Sutherland.

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