Monday, July 9, 2012

Salmon Mousse a la Craig Clalrborne

There's no point in trumpeting the all pink meal if you don't put in all the recipes. What would Martha Stewart say? So, here is a recipe not in the NYTHC, but  be reassured that it did come from the New York Times family of cookbooks namely the New York Times Cookbook, which as  Craig Clairborne's biographer says, revolutionized  cooking in 1961. I do know it revolutionized cooking in our house, as my  mother enthusiastically embarked on serving its recipes first at her parties and later to us.
My mother always had a big summer lawn party on our big summer lawn.  The women wore long, pastel colored skirts and the men  wore light blue or navy blue blazers. My sister and I got to pass (and eat) the hors oeuvres.                         
 It was a buffet, which my father didn't care for. He and some other gentleman would plop down at one end of the dining room table, which was laden for the  buffet and have his dinner there. He did not like eating off his lap, and didn't see why he should have to do it in his own house.
My mother always served the same thing at her party, beef  bourguignon, rice  and sometimes cold salmon   but after Craig entered our  house, salmon mousse, served in a fish  mold. My mother loved the mousses. We ate salmon mousse, turkey mousse and chicken mousse. When I got my own apartment,  and my own copy of Craig Clairborne, salmon mousse was one of the first things I made, and the page is decorated with 40 year old spots to prove it.
So after leafing through the Southern section of the cookbook on Saturday morning, a day that was proving to be every bit as hot as the week that came  before it, I couldn't find a fish recipe that didn't involve turning on the oven.  So I thought of salmon  mousse. The only tricky thing here is to not chill the base with the gelatin,   mayonnaise, etc too long. It's not supposed to set. However, you can do what my clever husband did, and set it in a pan of hot water and melt it a bit before you add the salmon.

Salmon Mousse

1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon juice
 1 tablespoon grated onion
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
 1/4 teaspoon paprika
 1 teaspoon salt
 2 cups canned salmon, drained and finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped capers   1/2 cup heavy cream
3 cups cottage cheese (this is to fill in the  bottom of the fish mold. If  you don't have a fish mold, you can omit the cottage cheese. )

1. Soften the gelatin in the cold water, add the boiling water and stir until the gelatin has dissolved. Cool.
2. Add the mayonnaise, lemon juice, onion, Tabasco, paprika, and salt and mix well. Chill to the consistency of unbeaten egg white.(Note: This is not very long.)
3. Add the salmon and capers and beat well. Whip the cream, fold into the salmon mixture and turn into a two-quart oiled fish mold. Add the cheese to fill the mold. Chill until set.
4. Unmold on a serving platter and garnish with watercress, lemon slices and salmon roe. Makes 8 servings.

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