Tuna & Sweetcorn Terrine

  • Time: One hour plus cooking
  • Serves: 2
  • Level: medium

Terrines may seem a little cheffy, but they are not that difficult to make and made in advance they provide for an easy lunch or starter for a summer gathering.

Tuna and sweetcorn has never been more stylish - the tuna and corn are blitzed together to make a soft delicious terrine.

What you need

250g fresh tuna

1 cob of corn

200g young spring greens

1 large egg white

125ml double cream

2 roasted red peppers from a jar

1 small red chilli seeds and pit removed

25g pitted green olives

Nutmeg

Lemon

1lb loaf tin

 



Dad's Recipe Tales

Life is short. Should we use its precious fleeting moments making terrines?

Let’s be honest: how often do we eat terrines? For most of us, these fancy oblongs of pureed food are culinary relics: archaic entities taught at haute cuisine establishments and consumed by the discerning few.

The truth is that we probably consume more terrine-like products than we are prepared to admit. Supermarket shelves are full of packaged pâtĂ©s, mousses, sliced terrines and other similar moulded meat and vegetable products. Unselfconsciously, we add them to our shopping lists, knowing of their convenience when catering for intimate soirĂ©es, larger gatherings, or perhaps those odd moments when you just need a little something…

For the aspiring home cook, making terrines provides an engaging challenge as well as useful new cooking techniques, especially when learned alongside related processes such as pâtés, mousses, and quenelles.

Terrines can also release the inner artist, offering the cook endless creative possibilities, not just through choice of ingredients (which can be meat, fish, or vegetable), but also through artistic expression using colours, patterns, layers or wrappings. For the advanced practitioner, more technical constructions are possible, with ingredients fastidiously placed along the length of the terrine – the final design revealed when sliced in cross-section, rather like an English stick of seaside rock.

Endless variations on a terrine theme are possible. However, finding a good range of recipes may prove difficult; most will reside either in French cookbooks, cookbooks by French chefs, or in the canon of classic cookery texts. However, initiated in the principles of the terrine, it is straightforward to elaborate personal interpretations.

It seems that making terrines may not be such a bad idea: once made, they become a very quick ready-made meal – just slice and serve; they are good to eat (either hot or cold); and finally, dare it be mentioned, there is just a soupçon of smugness to be enjoyed, knowing that against all the odds, despite life’s fleeting moments, a terrine was made.

 

 

 

How Dad Cooked It

Making a terrine according to classic principles requires blitzing in electric processors/blenders/choppers and plenty of pushing mixtures through sieves. This terrine is not possible without the electric equipment. However, if a rougher texture is acceptable, skip the sieving. Terrines can be served hot or cold, though this tuna version is best served cold – try with a tomato coulis or a thick creamy herb sauce.

If it is felt that the point of tuna and sweetcorn is lost in a fine mousse, try holding some of the tuna and sweet corn back from the blizing process and add back in at the end to provide a bit more texture (and visible evidence of corn!)

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C, gas 4
  2. Boil the corn until tender, cool and cut the kernels from the cob. Blitz in a processor adding sufficient water to achieve a fine puree. Put the puree into a pan and cook again until the mixture is reduced and soft. Pass through a sieve.
  3. Boil the greens in a large pan for 2 or 3 minutes. Remove the inner core of the leaves drain and then dry on paper towels.
  4. Put the tuna in a processor and blitz until nearly smooth, add the egg white and blend again until smooth. Pass through a sieve and add to a mixing bowl.
  5. Add the cream to the tuna and mix with an electric beater until amalgamated and smooth.
  6. Chop the peppers, chillies, and olives and add to the tuna mix. Add the corn puree, several gratings of nutmeg, a squeeze of lemon, plenty of salt and pepper and mix well.
  7. Line the loaf tin with cling film and then line again with spring green leaves. Ensure there is a good covering on the base and corners. Allow leaves to overlap the edges of the tin.
  8. Scrape the tuna mixture into the terrine and push it down into the tin with a spatula. Overlap the spring green leaves on top of the mixture; tap the terrine on a counter and finally, loosely cover the top with cling film or parchment paper.
  9. Put the loaf tin into a pan of boiling water – it should come half way up the tin. Bake in the oven for 25 – 35 minutes until a skewer pushed into the terrine comes out hot. (70C for 2 minutes is the official guide).
  10. Allow the terrine to cool and put in the fridge overnight. Serve with tomato coulis, sauce or a thick creamy herb sauce (1 part crème fraiche, 1 part mayonnaise, 1 part cream cheese, add chives and parsley to taste and season with plenty of lemon, salt and pepper)
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