Salmon and champagne are a natural pairing for the holidays or any occasion where you desire a touch of elegance and sophistication and lately I’ve been struck with a powerful urge to create a few show stopping salmon dishes after enjoying an incredible Skuna Bay salmon dinner at The Hobbit (more on this later). Each course featured a glorious rendition of salmon and I found myself dreaming of Chef Michael Philippi’s fluffy light salmon mousse.
Salmon mousse can be made with smoked salmon, which I adore, or poached salmon. With Don’s sodium restriction, I have to steer clear of smoked and cured fish (and meats) as sodium is a key component in the curing process and also acts as a preservative. This was my first attempt at making a salmon mousse and, if I may say so myself, the result was a velvety, pink confection that all your guests will be raving about! So pop the cork on your favorite bubbly and toast the new year with this elegant appetizer. Cheers to you and a fabulous year ahead 🙂
- 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 1/2 cup broth from poached salmon
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon fresh Meyer* lemon juice
- 1 red cherry chile pepper diced
- 1 teaspoon creamy horseradish
- ¼ teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt*
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill
- 1 pound finely flaked poached fresh salmon*
- 1 cup heavy cream
To poach salmon: heat 1/2 cup of good quality white wine (I used a Dr. Loosen Riesling), 1/2 cup of water, sprinkle of dill and a few thin slices of yellow onion in a saute pan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, place salmon fillets, skin-side down on the pan. Cover. Cook 5-7 minutes or to desired doneness. Be careful not to overcook - gently press with a fork, if the salmon flesh is opaque and begins to flake, it's done. Remove salmon from the poaching liquid - reserving 1/2 cup of the liquid for the mousse. Remove the skin and, using a fork, flake the salmon into tiny pieces.
Add gelatin to the cold water in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the boiling broth from poached salmon and whisk the mixture slowly until the gelatin dissolves. Cool to room temperature.
Whisk in the mayonnaise, lemon juice, horseradish, paprika, salt, dill and chives. Stir to blend completely and refrigerate until the mixture begins to thicken slightly, about 15 minutes.
Fold in the finely flaked salmon. In a separate bowl, whip the cream until it is thickened to soft peaks and fluffy. Fold gently into the salmon mixture. Transfer the mixture to a 6 to 8 prepared ramekins, or decorative mold. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
*I used NoSalt sodium-free salt alternative for a low-sodium diet. I prefer sweet Meyer lemons, but regular lemons are fine, too, and for the salmon, a wild sockeye fillet, skin-on, if it's available.
Shown served with toast rounds, thinly sliced Campari tomatoes and English cucumber garnished with thinly sliced Meyer lemon and pomegranate arils (optional).
Other options for presentation: serve small Campari or Pearl tomatoes filled with Salmon Mousse or endive leaves with a dollop of Salmon mousse garnished with dill, chives, and/or pomegranate arils.
January is #citruslove month! Please join in on the #citruslove fun by linking up any citrus recipe from the month of January 2012. Please visit their blogs to see all the delicious #citruslove they created! ready, set, start hoppin’