Thursday, April 17, 2014

Smoked Salmon Mousse

This beautiful pastel colored mousse is so light and fluffy and it wows  every time it's served.

It can be served elegantly molded or casually in a simple bowl.  Either way the taste will impress.

The recipe is from a book called Party Food, Small and Savory by Barbara Kafka.  Barbara Kafka is a food journalist and has columns in the New York Times and Gourmet magazine.  I bought her book in the early '90's and over the years has come in handy whenever I need a recipe for hors d'oeuvres.

The essential ingredients are heavy cream (divided), smoked salmon, hot sauce, chives, fresh lemon juice, grated onion, salt and pepper.

A note on the salmon...since the salmon is going to be pureed I purchased salmon trim.  This was a little less expensive but did not compromise flavor in any way.  The trims are probably not as nice looking so as to decoratively display them on a serving tray; but they taste just as good.

Assemble all your ingredients.  Measure out and prep everything you can.

Process the salmon and the 1/2 cup of cream.

Transfer the mixture to a blender and puree.

Place the water and gelatin in a small saucepan and allow the gelatin to absorb the water.

Once absorbed slowly heat the gelatin until it is totally dissolved. Set aside and allow to cool. 

The remainder of the cream is whipped with the cooled gelatin and the flavorings added to it.  Then you'll lighten up the salmon mixture with some of the whipped cream.

The rest of the cream is gently folded into the salmon mixture.

Pour out the ice water in your mold but don't dry the mold.  Spoon the mousse into the mold, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1-1/2 hours or longer.

When ready to serve, unmold and serve with crackers or bread.  I like to serve mine with these canape breads.

Smoked Salmon Mousse
Recipe adapted from Party Food, Small and Savory by Barbara Kafka
Makes 40 hors d'oeuvres servings

6-1/2 ounces smoked salmon
3 cups heavy cream, divided
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2-1/2 tsp. grated onion
3 Tbsp. water
1 envelope unflavored gelatin (1/4 ounce)
1 tsp. kosher salt
Freshly ground white pepper, to taste
10 drops hot red pepper sauce
1/4 cup thin-sliced chives (see note)

If you are going to use a mold, prepare a 5 cup or larger mold by filling with ice water.  Set aside.

Divide cream into 1/2 cup and 2-1/2 cup portions.  Juice lemons.  Grate onion.  Thinly slice the chives.  (NOTE: if chives are unavailable use scallion greens, slicing lengthwise and then across).  Give the salmon a rough chop.

Place the 1/2 cup of cream and the salmon in the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse until smooth.  Transfer mixture to a blender and purée.  Set aside.

Place water in a small pan.  Add the gelatin and let it sit until absorbed.  Over low heat slowly heat the softened gelatin mixture until it is dissolved.  Remove the pan from heat and allow it to completely cool.

 Whip the 2-1/2 cups of cream until slightly soft peaks form.  Beat in the cooled gelatin mixture.  Stir in the lemon juice, onion, salt, pepper, red pepper sauce and chives.

Remove about 1/2 cup of the seasoned whipped cream and stir into the puréed salmon mixture to lighten it up.  Fold the rest of the whipped cream into the salmon mixture.

Empty the ice water from the mold but do not dry.  Spoon the salmon mousse into the mold.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-1/2 hours or until set.

When ready to serve, unmold by removing the plastic wrap and run a thin, flexible spatula around the edge of the mold (may not be necessary if the mousse has slightly separated from the edge of the mold).  Fill a mixing bowl, that is one size larger than the mold, with very hot water.  Carefully holding the mold by the rim, dip into the bowl of hot water and hold for  5 seconds to loosen.

Place the serving dish on top of the mold and invert the mold.  Tuck curly leaf parsley around the outer edges of the mousse on the platter.  Sprinkle mousse with chopped chives.