Salmon Mousse

Salmon Mousse
Ann M. Evans

I learned this recipe from my friend Allie Lesser, whose family in Texas made it with leftover salmon from their Sunday night suppers. I make it with Pink salmon I catch fly fishing in Alaska, but any type of fresh or frozen salmon will be fine. Serve on top of cucumber slices, or crostini.

For poaching the salmon:

1 lemon, sliced
½ yellow onion, sliced
Several sprigs Italian parsley
¼ cup white wine
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon whole peppercorns

For the mousse:

1 pound filet, fresh salmon – poached, flaked and boned
1 cup Ricotta cheese
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons crème Fraiche (or sour cream)
1 ½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice

½ preserved lemon, minced, optional – use 1 tablespoon lemon zest if not using a preserved lemon (see my recipe, Preserved Lemons, Eureka (sour) under Recipes on this site)
½ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1 ½ teaspoons chopped chives

To serve the mousse:

1-2 cucumbers sliced
1 sweet French baguette for crostini (toasted bread slices)

To prepare poached and flaked salmon (if using frozen salmon filet, thaw it first), poach filet in a fish poaching pan or steamer by placing a small amount of water in the bottom of the pan, add the aromatics such as lemon, onion, parsley, wine, bay leaf and peppercorns. Over medium heat, poach the salmon for 10 minutes. When filet is cool, skin the filet and break the flesh into flakes, taking care to remove any bones.

To prepare the mousse, put all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix by hand until well blended, about 10 minutes. If using a food processor, put all ingredients except the chives into the processor and process until the mixture is smooth, about five minutes. Taste for salt and pepper, lemon, and add anything as needed. Remove contents from the processor and place into a bowl. Add the chives and stir until well blended, about 2 minutes. Refrigerate mousse until ready to serve.

To serve on cucumbers, score the cucumber skin with a fork for a pretty edge. Slice the cucumbers to about ¼ inch. Place a ½ teaspoon or so of the mousse onto each cucumber round. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

To serve on crostini, turn oven onto broil. Place oven rack near broiler, but not at the top rung to prevent burning. (Note: you can also grill these on an outdoor grill using a pan with holes in it, and no Silpat or paper. Oil the pan first to prevent sticking.) Slice a baguette into 1/3 inch slices. Place slices on a large baking sheet, preferably on parchment paper or Silpat. Using a pastry brush spread a little olive oil onto each slice. Place the pan under the broiler, and broil until the toasts are a light golden brown, about 1 minute. Watch very carefully, as toasts will burn quickly. I keep the oven door open and don’t try to do any other activity at that time. Let the toasts cool, then spread them with ½ teaspoon or so of the mousse. Serve immediately.

Serves 20 people as part of several appetizers.

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