French

Salmon Mousse

May 23, 2011

Salmon Mousse

Up until the 18th century, salmon was one of the most commonly eaten fish in Europe.  With the Industrial Revolution came the pollution of many of the rivers which effectively eliminated wild salmon.  These days most of the salmon sold in the U. S. and Europe is produced on fish farms.  I usually prefer to consume wild salmon and make a point to ask the origin when I am purchasing my fish.  This salmon mousse recipe is extremely versatile.  It can be used as an appetizer (sliced and served as is on small squares of toasts with a squirt of lemon juice); as a main course; served with cold asparagus; served with a tossed salad; and a “make-ahead” spread that can be served with crackers or toasted rye bread. 

INGREDIENTS

1 Pound Fresh Salmon

Bunch of Fresh Herbs

½ Pint Double Cream

2 Ounces Softened Butter

4 Ounces Dry Sherry

2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice

1/8 Teaspoon Salt

1/8 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper

½ Ounce Powdered Gelatin

Preheat oven to 350° F.  Lightly oil a 1 pound loaf pan or a salmon mould.  Place the salmon in a buttered, ovenproof dish with the fresh herbs and cover with water.  Cover the dish with foil and cook for 20 minutes.  Leave the salmon to cook in the liquid, and then remove the skin and bones.  Reserve the liquid.  Pound the salmon flesh until smooth.  Lightly whip the cream and fold into the salmon.  Soften the butter and stir into the mixture together with the sherry and lemon juice.  Add the salt and pepper.  Measure 6 tablespoons of the reserved fish liquid into a bowl and sprinkle the gelatin on top.  Set over a pan of hot water until the gelatin has dissolved.  Cool slightly and then beat into the mousse.  Spoon the mousse into the loaf pan or the mould and leave to set in the refrigerator overnight.  Turn out onto a serving plate to serve.  Serves 8

 

Crème Caramel

May 6, 2011

Crème Caramel

INGREDIENTS

Custard:

1 Quart Whole Milk

1 ¼ Cups Plus 3 Tablespoons Sugar

5 Jumbo Eggs

3 Jumbo Egg Yolks

2 ¼ Teaspoons Vanilla Extract

Caramel:

½ Cup Plus 1 Tablespoon Sugar

3 Tablespoons Light Corn Syrup

3 Tablespoons Water

First arrange 8 (1 Cup) ramekins in a large roasting pan and set aside.  To make the caramel: in a small saucepan, bring the sugar, water and corn syrup to a simmer over medium heat.  Stir lightly to dissolve the sugar.  Simmer for 25 minutes or until a rich, amber caramel amber caramel forms.  Pour an equal amount of hot caramel into each ramekin.  If the caramel gets too hard, gently reheat it.  Preheat the oven to 300° F.  To make the custard: In a large saucepan, bring the milk and sugar just to a simmer over medium heat.  Stir for 5 minutes to dissolve the sugar.  Let cool until warm.  In a large bowl, whisk the whole eggs with the yolks.  Slowly whisk in the warm milk mixture and then the vanilla.  Strain the custard and pour into the prepared ramekins.  Add enough hot water to the roasting pan to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins.  Cover the pan with 2 layers of plastic wrap.  Bake the custard for 1 hour or until they are set, but still slightly wiggle in the center.  Remove the hot custards from the water bath and let them cool on a rack until they are room temperature.  Cover and refrigerate the custards overnight.  To serve pour 2 inches of extremely hot water into a small bowl.  Dip the ramekin in the hot water for 10 seconds and then run a thin knife around the edge of the ramekin to loosen the custard.  Invert the crème caramel onto a serving plate.  Repeat with the remaining crème caramels and serve.  Serves 8

Strawberry Tart

May 3, 2011

Strawberry Tart

This is such an easy dessert recipe.  Feel free to substitute the strawberries with your favorite berry. 

INGREDIENTS

9 Inch Pie Crust

8 Ounces Softened Cream Cheese

1/3 Cup Sugar

2 Tablespoons Milk

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

3 Cups Washed & Hulled Whole Strawberries

Bake the pie crust until golden brown. If you are using a frozen pie crust then follow the package directions.  Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

In a mixing bowl, beat together cream cheese, sugar, milk and vanilla until smooth.  Spoon the filling into the cooled pie crust.  Spread the mixture evenly in the shell.  Arrange the strawberries on top of the filling.  Some people like to arrange the strawberries with the bottoms up, but arrange however you wish.  Chill for 1 hour before serving.  Serves 6

Baked Camembert

May 1, 2011

Baked Camembert

I discovered Baked Camembert while living in France. Baked Camembert is a great appetizer or can be eaten as a meal.

INGREDIENTS

One 9 Ounce Camembert (In Wooden Box)

1 Peeled and Sliced Garlic Clove

½ Teaspoon Fresh Thyme Leaves

1 Tablespoon Honey

1 Small Baguette (Cut into Slices)

2 Tablespoon Olive Oil

Extra Olive Oil For Brushing

Sea Salt

Preheat oven to 400° F.   Remove the camembert from the box and throw away any wax paper packaging.  Take a 10 inch square of foil and place in the wooden box.  Place the camembert back inside the box.  Pierce the top of the camembert with the tip of a knife and push in the slices of garlic along with thyme leaves.  Drizzle with honey.  Loosely scrunch the foil up over the cheese and set aside.  Brush two 12 inch square sheets, the size of your baking sheet, of parchment paper with oil.  Line the baking sheet with one of the oiled parchment sheets – oil side up.  Spread the slices of baguette over the sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with crushed sea salt.  Place the remaining sheet of parchment – oil side down – over the bread.  Place in the oven with the camembert and cook both for 10 minutes or until the cheese has risen and the bread is crisp.  Open up the foil and dip in the hot baguette.  This is delicious!  Serves 4

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