Seasonal Sustenance

Appetizer: Salmon rillettes with herb blinis and salmon caviar
Salad: Confit of duckling salad with butternut squash and pomegranate
Entree: Double-cut pork chop pan-braised with an apricot and onion compote, and served with duchess potatoes and french-cut green beans
Dessert: Bette Noire: Flourless chocolate cake with a white chocolate Drambuie sauce
Salmon Rillettes
12 oz. fresh salmon filet
3 oz. smoked salmon
2 oz. cream cheese
1 1/2 tblsp. capers, drained and chopped
2 tsp. chives, chopped
1 1/2 unsalted butter
1/4 cup red onion, minced
1 sprig fresh tarragon
Black pepper, to taste
1/3 lemon, juice only
1/3 cup sour cream
2 oz. salmon roe
In a small, nonreactive sauce pot, add two cups of water, juice of one lemon, 2 tblsp. olive oil and 1 tblsp. salt. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to a bare simmer. Add fresh salmon to water and gently poach for five to six minutes. Remove salmon from water and cool. Once cooled down, shred the poached salmon with a fork.
Cut smoked salmon into shreds with a sharp knife. Place in a large bowl with cream cheese, capers and chives. Add shredded poached salmon.
Put butter in a sauté pan over moderate heat, and just when the butter begins to foam, add red onions. Toss onions in pan for 30 seconds, just to warm them through and to slightly soften them. Add onions to bowl with salmon.
Mince leaves of tarragon and add to the bowl. Blend ingredients together with two forks and season with a touch of black pepper and lemon juice. Refrigerate until ready to use.
To serve, place 1/2 tsp. of sour cream on a blini, then top with 2 oz. of salmon rillettes. Top the rillettes with another blini, then 1/2 tsp. sour cream, finishing with a dollop of salmon roe. Dress the plate with 1 oz. of lemon balm dressing and garnish with fresh sprouts or greens. Serves 8.

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