Saturday, September 25, 2010

That's Entertaining! Salmon Mousse, a Must-Have Recipe for Your Party File

Photo by Barb Watson
by Barbara Burtoff

Of all the recipes I have, this one has been requested the most. It has traveled from Washington, DC across the USA and around the world.

It doesn’t have any hard-to-find ingredients, it is easy to make, and it is delicious. Best of all, it can be served three different ways. It can be the first course of a seated dinner party. It can be an appetizer at a cocktail party. It’s great at a Sunday brunch as a topping for toasted bagels.

Salmon Mousse


1 envelope unflavored gelatin
2 tablespoons diced onions
2 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 cup mayonnaise (Kraft’s brand “real” preferred)
1 teaspoon dried dill
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
2 cans (7 ounces each) salmon, drained or 1 can (14 to 15 ounces); red salmon will give the mousse a better color than pink salmon; remove bones and dark pieces of skin
1 cup (half pint) heavy cream


Take the time to assemble all ingredients and then measure them.

Combine the gelatin, onions, lemon juice and boiling water in food processor or blender jar. Blend at high speed for about 30 seconds. Turn motor off.

Add the mayonnaise, dill, salt, pepper and salmon. Turn to high speed for about 20 seconds. Gradually add the cream until thoroughly blended.

To present as a first course: Pour mixture into a bread loaf pan; chill until firm. Be sure to oil container first so the mousse will come out easily. When ready to serve, remove from pan and cut across in half-inch slices. Line each salad plate with a large, washed, then dried Romaine lettuce leaf or a white doily. Layer on a slice of the salmon mousse. Garnish each plate with your choice of small dill pickles, Spanish or ripe olives, parsley sprigs and cherry tomatoes.

To serve as a party spread: Prepare salmon mousse mixture and pour into a round soufflé dish or bowl (or two smaller soufflé dishes or bowls). No need to oil containers since you will be serving in these bowls. At party time, put a bowl in the middle of a large round platter and surround with pumpernickel and rye bread slices (cut in half), and crackers such as Triscuits or something herb-seasoned.

To serve with bagels: Put the bowl on a round platter and surround with thin onion slices and cherry tomatoes.

This recipe tastes best if made a day ahead.


Calling All Holiday Cooks

Do you have a favorite vegetable recipe that shows up each year at your Thanksgiving table? Do you bake a cookie during the December holiday season that’s so special your friends and neighbors start counting the days until they get that invitation to drop by for tea? How about sharing some of these recipes with the All Life Is Local through this column? Please use the comments section below.


Barbara Burtoff spent 10 years as a food writer and editor for the Boston Herald daily newspaper. She visited farms and markets, attended culinary schools and cooking contests, and covered parties of all sizes from large, gala fundraisers to small gatherings at home. She then left to finish an M.S. Education degree, expanded from one paper to national syndication focusing on consumer/shopping issues, nutrition and psychology of eating topics.

That's Entertaining! is published by the Cleveland Park Listserv. (c) 2010 Barbara Burtoff

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