French Fridays with Dorie: rillettes

So um yeah. It’s been busy around here lately. Well, not maybe the blog but my life. I seem to be wearing about 10 different hats and working on 10 billion projects (all will be revealed soon, don’t worry!) and no, it’s not an exaggeration. Well maybe just a little 😉 In any case, I am so busy that I completely messed up this week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe. Knowing it was “Sardine Rillettes” I wasn’t a very happy camper. Not only do I not like fish very much but I particularly don’t like things like sardines.  I mean, I am learning to like and trying more and more fish but sardines will remain at the bottom of my “to try” list. Sorry lil fishies 🙁

Anyway, I didn’t end up making sardine rillettes in the end. I really did mean to. Really. Even though I knew that I wouldn’t eat them. Even though I knew I had no idea how to debone the lil suckers.  But as I was reading the recipe (page 25), Dorie references the (even for a non-salmon eater like me) much nicer sounding Salmon Rillettes (page  26) and I turned the page to see what that might be about. No deboning required there. And a vaguely nicer smell (you have to understand for someone who will only eat salmon when they are appearing on a nationally televised reality show because it would be rude not to, this is a huge compliment to the salmon!).

And for whatever reason, I stuck my Post-It note in the Salmon Rillette page and left it there.

Later in the week, when I went to make a grocery list, I took the book out, and made a list of ingredients for the rillettes and the lamb stew which I planned on making over Easter.


Yup, that’s the sound of me pretending the recipe wasn’t the sardine rillettes.  I went ahead and ordered the ingredients to make the salmon dish. Just like that. Maybe it was my subconscious sardine hater acting on my behalf but I was clearly not my organised self.  To be fair, it was 5am when I was placing the grocery order so I claim the “no coffee” factor.

When I realised my mistake, it was 3 hours before our guests were due to arrive. And too late to go out and get sardines (well, maybe not bit clearly it WAS, you know). So I just blundered on and substituted the smoked and poached salmon for the sardines. No de-boning required.  And you know what?

Everyone enjoyed it (everyone but me). A lot.  People were dubious. You know, salmon and cream cheese. But people loved it. And someone requested it for another party this coming weekend. Well oh-kay then.  I was just glad it was a pretty colour for the photos 😉

Next time? I promise to read the recipe properly. Sorry Dorie. Sorry Doristas!

French Fridays with Dorie participants do not publish the recipes on our blogs, rather, we prefer if you purchase Around My French Table for yourselves (trust me, you definitely want this book!) which you can do here on Amazon or Amazon Canada. Or for free worldwide shipping, buy from The Book Depository. Go on, treat yourself and join us this year!

Did you know? I am leading a foodie tour of Paris this July! Read all about it here. We’ve only got 2 spots left!!!

* Did you enter my illy artists’ collection giveaway yet? Open to US/Canada, Contest ends Monday, April 16th, 2012 at 9pm EST.  Winner chosen via and announced Tuesday April 17th

39 thoughts on “French Fridays with Dorie: rillettes”

  1. Ha! 5AM no coffee, my foot! Your sub-conscious was just being smart.
    Now, the salmon rillettes I will be able to get behind & enjoy 🙂
    Was Mr. Neil upset that you blundered because he was secretly hoping for sardines? Had to ask…

  2. Obviously salmon rillettes were meant to be. How nice that someone even requested more be made for a party! I know you get up early but ordering groceries at 5:00 a.m.!! You are braver than I, not for getting up so early but for not playing hookie on this week’s FFWD altogether. Sardines and salmon would have had me feigning illness LOL.

  3. 5am shopping? Hm. Want something done, ask a busy woman. Then again, ask Mardi. Hey, Mardi, next time you’re shopping can you attach the following list? 😉
    Love the look of the salmon rillettes. A ‘mistake’ in the right direction indeed. Sure Mr Neil matched it up with something beautifully crisp and chilled! Cheers.

  4. I’ve never made rillettes, but I’ve eaten a variety of types — including rabbit rillettes at Bouchon in Yountville. I’m just not a fan of the texture. Kudos to you for making rillettes, even if it was salmon and not sardines.

    ps I’m dying to hear more about your top secret projects, you know!

  5. I have made salmon rillettes for years and cannot argue their merits strongly enough. But I will be making the sardine version tonight as I adore sardines. Maybe you will be up to making the sardine version when we get to Dorie’s salmon one? 🙂

  6. If you ever need someone to take salmon or sardines or any fish off of your hands after you’ve made it into a delicious spread, I am that person. That looks amazing!

  7. how funny that people were dubious over salmon and cream cheese – those are paired together all the time in things…! 🙂 At least they were tasty and your guests tried them! 🙂 Too bad you didn’t like them, I doubt you will try the sardine rillettes then. I have made those kinds of mistakes and realized it “too late” too!

  8. Haha, your post cracks me up! 🙂 i have always loved everything from the sea (and I mean everything), so either rillette would have been a pleasure for me. Looks fantastic!

  9. True enough salmon and cream cheese even make the list in Sushi restaurants. Not my favorite combination, if I’m going to eat salmon I prefer simply grilled. But then again I was forced with this decision also and my conscious chose the Tuna Rillettes over Salmon and Sardine…..maybe I can blame it on being Diet Coke Free for the last three weeks…..Great photos as always!

  10. That’s too funny, Mardi! Lucky you who can place grocery orders at weird hours. I have to admit that the salmon rilletes recipe definitely sounded more appealing than the sardines. If I hadn’t known in advance that the in-laws would enjoy them I would have definitely made these instead. The color is pretty!

  11. I’ve actually been looking forward to that salmon one for a long time, hopefully it comes up soon or I may just have to make it ahead of schedule. Yours looks delicious, and if you really don’t want to do sardines, I bet that the sardine recipe would also work very well with salmon.

  12. I think this would be wonderful with salmon, I look forward to making it. Your photo with the
    slice of baguette and salmon looks great. Nice to have a request for more, you must have done
    something right.

  13. I’ll admit, I enjoyed the sardine rillettes, but I love fish. I love the color of your salmon rillettes. It looks great, mistake or not.

  14. Mardi, whatever the reason, it’s okay. I made Rillettes de Thom ON PURPOSE. I liked it. Everyone who tried it liked it. So I’m happy. Althoughhhhhhhh, I am starting to feel a little guilty about not giving the sardines a try. Not real guilty, just a little. I made the bah, bah, bah stew tonight, It is delicious. Was yours? Mary

  15. Sardines, eew from me too. I thoroughly enjoyed the salmon version, as you know! But I think I would have (not so discreetly perhaps!) avoided the sardines if that had been proffered instead. Good subconscious, coffee deprived, accidental choice! As someone has said above, it was meant to be. And I do think the party tonight needs some more… 🙂

  16. Now this one I think I would like! I wanted to jump on the sardine bandwagon, I really did, but it didn’t happen for me. Your pictures are beautiful as always!

  17. I’m with you, I think the salmon sounds more appealing. I want to try all three of her rillettes recipes and compare them. Who knows, maybe the sardines will turn out to be the crowd favourite.

  18. Okay gang, apologies for the – very – late response. Mardi often chides me, in that my wine notes should be done IMMEDIATELY so people see them. But I – ahem – am not adding comments on the blog at 5am.

    I really enjoyed both versions Mardi made. The non-cream cheese one had a nice hint of spice, and a more fish-flesh texture, which I liked. But having said that, as a few have pointed out, cream cheese and salmon is a classic match, and this was a nice creamy slather of goodness on a baguette as well.

    Paired with a beautiful bottle of sparkling from British Columbia, from the not-so-classically named See Ya later Ranch. It seemed a perfect way to start an evening with guests, and I firmly believe people do not drink enough sparkling wine.


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.