Entertaining this holiday season? Look no farther than Diana Lampe’s retro salmon mousse recipe, featured in the Brisbane Times by our friends down under. Serve with bubbles in old-fashioned champagne coupes and you’re on your way to a Mad Men-style holiday – hold the drama.
Serves 6 (makes about 3 cups)
½ cup hot water
1 tbsp (4 tsp) gelatine
¼ cup lemon juice
2 x 210g medium cans of red salmon
½ cup good-quality commercial mayonnaise
1 cup creamy yoghurt or ¾ cup cream, lightly whipped
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp sweet paprika
7-10 drops of tabasco or pinch of cayenne
1 shallot (2 tbsp), finely chopped and rinsed, or spring onion
1 tbsp capers or cornichons, finely chopped
¼ cup finely diced celery
¼ cup finely chopped dill or curly-leaf parsley
1 bunch of watercress or 1 lettuce and lemon wedges
100g smoked salmon (optional)
Oil a fish mould, ring mould or metal bowl with a three-cup capacity or six dariole moulds. Alternatively, the mouse could be set in the serving dish or individual dishes.
To dissolve the gelatine, pour the half cup of hot water into a jug and add the tablespoon of gelatine. Stir briskly with a fork until dissolved. Mix the lemon juice into the gelatine mixture and set aside. Drain the salmon and remove the bones and skin and discard. Mash the flesh with a fork.
In a large bowl, mix the mayonnaise and yoghurt or whipped cream with the dissolved gelatine and lemon juice. Add the Dijon mustard, paprika, tabasco, shallot or spring onion, capers or cornichons, dill or parsley, celery and salmon. Now taste the mixture and make any adjustments needed. Add a teaspoon of white-wine vinegar and a little sugar if the flavour needs lifting. It shouldn’t need salt.
Tip the mousse mixture into the oiled mould (fill to within one centimetre of the rim) or individual moulds. Cover with oiled plastic wrap. Set on a tray with a tea towel around it (for the fish mould) to keep it steady and chill in the fridge. It will take a few hours to set.
To turn out, dip the mould in very hot water and count to 10. Turn the mould out onto a serving plate and, if necessary, give it a shake to release. If it is not in the middle of the plate, give it a jiggle. Chill until it is to be served.
Decorate around the mousse with watercress sprigs or lettuce and lemon wedges. Drape smoked salmon slices over the mousse if desired or serve a slice with each serving. You can give the fish an eye with a slice of cornichon. Serve the salmon mousse with Melba toast or pumpernickel bread and cucumber salad.