This is a recipe for a cold semi-firm seafood terrine that is half red and half green. The use of canned lobster bisque and Nori (dried seaweed) sheets makes it much easier to get a full spectrum of seafood flavours while using just fish and prawn as you base ingredients. The lobster bisque is also used to make a lobster-shallot sauce that goes superbly with the terrine. Another nice touch is the use of brioche, which gives your terrine a nice buttery tone. The result, a juicy flavourful seafood terrine that everyone will enjoy.
- Sole Fillet (500g)
- Prawns (150g)
- Scallops (150g)
- Brioche (cubed, 2 cups)
- Cream (200ml)
- Lobster Bisque (1×400 ml can)
- Nori = Dried Seaweed (2 large sheets)
- Eggs (2)
- Shallots (9)
- Liquid Smoke
- Dill Weed
- Spoon one heaping T of mayonnaise into a bowl so that it will be at room temperature by the time you need it.
- Cut each of your 9 shallots in half, peel them, then slice finely.
- Cut as much brioche as you need into small cubes until you get 2 cups full.
- Cut with scissors 2 large (like A4 paper sized) Nori sheets into confetti.
- Shell your prawns and dice them together with the sole fillet into pieces about the size of half a finger. Dust your seafood with salt and pepper from a shaker as if you were going to pan fry them.
Blending the Terrine
- In a pan, stir fry one third of the shallots in a dash of oil till they begin to brown. With the pan sizzling hot, add half the can of lobster bisque, 2T brandy and 1t basil. Let the mixture boil for 30 seconds and turn off the heat. Mix in 1 cup of brioche cubes. Allow to cool in a bowl.
- In the same pan(after washing it), stir fry another third of the shallots in the same way. This time add 200ml of cream, the Nori confetti, 2T liquid smoke. Let the mixture boil for 30 seconds and turn off the heat. Mix in 1 cup of brioche. Allow to cool in a second bowl.
- Place half the fish, half the prawns and an egg in a blender, then add the contents of the first bowl. It must be cool enough such that the egg doesn’t start cooking. Don’t liquidize it completely, just blend till you get a lumpy paste. Spoon the paste back into the bowl.
- Blend the rest of the fish and prawns with a second egg with the contents of the second bowl, using the same procedure.
Cooking the Terrine
- Line the inside of 6 ramekins with oversized pieces of clear cling film. Spoon the seafood paste from the two bowls into 6 ramekins as shown. Poke with the small end of a spoon to compact the paste and get rid of air pockets.
- When you are done, cover each ramekin with a second piece of smaller cling film and tuck the loose bits under the ramekin to seal everything up. The terrine will expand while it is cooking (although it will shrink back after that) so do not fill the ramekins too close to the brim.
- Set up your steaming rack in a pot with an inch of water and set it to boil. When the water is boiling. Arrange 3 ramekins within (see the picture below) and steam for half an hour on a low simmer. You can stack the other 3 ramekins on in an overlapping fashion if your pot is tall enough. If not, repeat with the second 3 ramekins.
- Allow the ramekins to cool and then chill them in the fridge with the clear film still attached. You can leave them in the fridge overnight.
- In the same pan(after washing it again), stir fry the remaining one third of the shallots in a few T of oil. This time you want to stir-fry on low heat until they are a nice deep brown.
- Pour in the remaining lobster bisque while the pan is sizzling, add 2T brandy, the warm mayonnaise, 1t dill weed and 1t sugar. Let it boil for 10 seconds and then set aside to cool. When it has cooled enough, spoon into a bowl and chill this in the fridge as well.
- Cut each scallop into half from the flat side, then slice them into thin semi-circular pieces.
- Melt a large knob of butter in the same pan (after washing it yet again) and then allow the pan to cool. Arrange the scallop pieces in the pan and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
- Turn the heat on and cook without touching the scallops at all. The moment you see the scallops get opaque, which is very fast, turn off the fire. They cook fast and this is the best way to ensure each piece is cooked the same and done just right.
Putting It Together
- Remove the chilled terrine blocks from the ramekins and clear film and pat dry with kitchen towels.
- Slice any uneven bits (like a rounded bottom) off the biggest blocks and mash them up (in their separate colours) so you can use them as fillers later.
- Slice each circular block into 2 thinner blocks.
- Arrange on plates with the clean cut surface facing up. Fill in any gaps with your mashed bits.
- Spoon the sauce onto the plate, around but not on the terrine.
- Finally, arrange the scallop petals on the plate on top of the sauce.
- The structure of seafood terrines
varies widely. Mine is a simple one with no solid bits but you can put chunks of any kind of seafood you like in yours. Just make sure they cut easily (i.e. nothing chewy like clams)
- You can make the colours more vibrant if you wish. One option is to use salmon as the fish for the red part and add some blanched chopped spinach to the green part (see picture).
- I used a stainless steel round form to divide the terrine into inner and outer layers. If you don’t have these in your kitchen, one option is to make a Swiss-roll by spreading a thick layer of fish paste on a suitably sized sheet of Nori, rolling it up and standing it up in the ramekin as the centre. You’ll get a nice spiral pattern as your core (see picture). You can also just dispense with appearances and use a simple left-right arrangement.
- Traditionally terrine is made in one large loaf shaped block (see picture) but I found that it is much easier to steam ramekins. If you want to make a one loaf terrine, you’ll have to cook the terrine on a pan of water in the oven, and replace the cling film with the more cumbersome parchment paper or perhaps blanched spinach leaves.