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Eat this! Terrines, flavorful French molds

Michael's terrine de fruit de mer.

Michael's terrine de fruit de mer.

What it is: A highly flavored loaf of coarsely chopped meat, vegetables or seafood, often layered and served chilled, a terrine is typically served sliced, as an appetizer. It’s similar to pate, but terrines usually have distinct components, while pates are more finely ground and homogenous.

Michael Lachowicz

Michael Lachowicz

Where it comes from: The dish is considered French, but pates and terrines date at least as far back as the early Francs, Gauls and Roman Empire. The name of the dish is taken from its cooking vessel, usually a covered, glazed ceramic mold.

What to do with it: Terrines can be made of almost anything. Chef Michael Lachowicz at restaurant Michael in Winnetka makes a terrine of seafood mousse studded with chunks of scallops, lobster and shrimp.

Michael’s terrine de fruit de mer
Seafood terrine
Chef Michael Lachowicz

Mousse:
3 ounces dry sea scallops
3 ounces cleaned shrimp
3 ounces. boneless, skinless salmon filet
6 ounces heavy whipping cream, well chilled
1 egg plus 1 yolk
Kosher salt and finely ground white pepper to taste
1/8 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
3 cups very strong lobster stock reduced to 2 tablespoons, well chilled

Garnish:
2 large, raw sea scallops, diced
6 raw, deveined shrimp roughly chopped
4 cooked lobster claws, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon minced fresh tarragon

Vegetable-oil cooking spray

Make the mousse: In a well-chilled food processor, place the chilled seafood, five spice powder and egg. Puree until smooth.

Add the reduced lobster stock to the cream. With the processor running, slowly drizzle the cream mixture into the fish puree.

Combine all of the prepared garnish and mousse in a large bowl.

Lightly coat unlined muffin tins or your favorite pate mold with cooking spray. Spoon the mousse mixture into your greased molds. Place the molds in a 9-by-13-by-2-inch deep baking dish, fill the dish with warm water halfway up the sides of the molds.

Bake, covered tightly with aluminum foil, at 300 degrees for 15 minutes.

Remove the molds from the baking pan. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and unmold. Serve warm or chilled. 6 servings.

Note: 1/2 teaspoon of lobster or seafood paste, such as Knorr Swiss, can be substituted for the reduced lobster stock.