Sunday, November 25th, 2012
Not exactly your traditional Thanksgiving fare, this mousse makes a great appetizer during cocktails.
A mousse, like a custard, can be sweet or savory, but most people think of a chocolate confection that melts in your mouth. The Microsoft Word dictionary defines mousse as: “a light rich dish consisting mostly of cream, eggs or gelatin that is sweetened to serve as a dessert, or flavored with vegetables, meat or fish.” A real French mousse uses eggs and heavy cream to bind it not gelatin. Gelatin is fine if you want to make a jell-o mold but as far as I’m concerned gelatin has no place in a savory fish mousse like the ones described below.
There are actually two recipes below and in the video, a scallop mousse and a salmon mousse. What I’ve done is make both and then layer them in a terrine to make a spectacular presentation. In this close up photo you can see the air bubbles created by whipping the cream and egg into the fish and herbs.
To keep the scallop mousse light in color I use egg whites only and use a little extra cream. The salmon mousse has less cream and uses whole eggs and green herbs.
The resulting mousse can be served hot with a vermouth, cream reduction or served cold with an herb mayonnaise. The recipe below is enough for two 6-cup terrines or molds.
8 – 10 Main Courses
12 -14 First Courses
When served on crackers with herb mayonnaise 25 people can nosh.
Unless you’re planning to serve a lot of people you may want to make one or the other instead of layering them or you can work with fractions and ½ the recipe.
1 1/2 pounds large sea scallops muscles removed rinsed and patted dry
3 egg whites (save the yolks for making the mayonnaise)
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground that nutmeg
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 ¼ cup heavy cream
1 1/2 pounds of fresh salmon with skin removed
3 whole eggs
1 small shallot diced
1 teaspoon dill
1 teaspoon chives
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon smoked Paprika
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup heavy cream
Place a large roasting pan ½ full of water into the oven and preheat to 350. This is your Bain Marie or water bath. It helps cook the mousse evenly and at an equal temperature.
The same procedure is used for making each mousse. I’d make the scallop mousse first and that way you don’t have to wash the food processor between batches.
Place the fish into the bowl of your food processor. Pulse the blade 6-8 times to break the fish up and then run for about 30 seconds. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the herbs. Run the processor again for about a minute more. Then while the processor is running add the eggs or egg whites and blend thoroughly about another 30 seconds. Once again scrape the sides and start the processor and with the motor running slowly pour in the cream until incorporated.
Remove the mousse from the food processor and place in a bowl, cover and keep refrigerated while you make the next mousses. Refrigerate the second mouse while you prepare the molds.
Coat the mold with butter and with a spatula scoop ¼ of the salmon mousse into the mold and spread evenly. Then layer ¼ of the scallop mousse on top and repeat to make four layers. Cover the mold with a double layer of buttered aluminum foil. Repeat with the second mold.
Carefully pull the over rack containing the water bath and slowly lower the molds into the water. You want the water to come up between half way to two thirds of the way up the molds. Cook until the internal temperature is 115˚ — 120˚F, approximately 40 to 45 minutes. Remove the molds from the bath and allow them to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate covered with the foil overnight.
When you’re ready to unmold the mouse place the mold in some warm water and run a knife along the edge of the mousse. This allows you to easily turn the mousse onto a cutting board.
I served this mousse cold on crackers with an herb mayonnaise. The recipe for the mayo and a recipe for a sauce along with accompanying video will be posted next week. Also will include tips for separating eggs and removing the skin from the salmon.
Ciao For Now.