Layers of tender potatoes that have been kissed with just the faintness bit of smoky flavor. These potatoes are sandwiched with creamy goat cheese, fresh thyme and caramelized onions. A wonderful brunch item or serve as a light starter at any meal.
To make the Caramelized Onions, in heavy bottomed pan melt the butter over medium heat and add the onions, salt and sugar. Stir occasionally and cook over medium heat until the onions are dark brown and nicely caramelized. Approximately 20-25 minutes (low and slow is key).
To make the terrine, start by cooking the leeks. Prepare the leeks by cutting the dark green part off, reserve for stock or some other use. Slice the white/light green part of the leeks in half lengthwise and wash thoroughly to remove any sand. Boil in lightly salted water until tender and shock in ice water to retain the color, set aside while you make the aspic.
To make the aspic, sprinkle the gelatin over the cold stock and allow to sit (bloom) for 5 minutes. Whisk the softened gelatin into the hot vegetable stock and set aside to cool to room temperature.
To smoke the potatoes, place the warm cooked fingerlings into a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Using a smoking gun smoked the potatoes for 8-10 minutes. Alternatively, if you have a smoker, the potatoes can be placed in the smoker for 8-10 minutes. The best wood for this preparation is alder wood, however any wood can be used, even timothy hay or alfalfa.
Crush the potatoes slightly with a fork and add the melted butter, liquid smoke, lemon zest, thyme, chives and Pecorino Romano. Stir to combine.
To build the terrine, line a terrine mold or a loaf pan with plastic wrap. Dip the leeks into the aspic and arrange them in the mold so they overlap slightly and drape enough over the side of the mold so you can fold the ends over the terrine when finished.
Arrange a layer of the potato mixture on the bottom, followed by a layer of caramelized onions and a layer of crumbled goat cheese. Repeat this process until the terrine is full. Fold the edges of the leeks over the top of the terrine and fold the plastic wrap over as well. Weight the terrine down and press using a couple of cans or weights. Place in the refrigerator and allow to chill overnight or for 24 hours.
Remove the terrine from the mold gently and slice with a very sharp knife. Serve with ground mustard, crème fresh and cornichons if desired.
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