Although this recipe is quite time-consuming, these light rings of mousse provide a first course worthy of any table. Be careful when removing them from their moulds as they are quite fragile.
For the mousse, cut the monkfish up into small pieces, then place in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Add the salt and egg white and process again until it stiffens. Rub the fish through a sieve into a bowl set on crushed ice. Gradually add two-thirds of the cream and, when well mixed in, add the sherry and season with nutmeg and a little pepper. Test the mousse, then leave in the refrigerator until needed.
Wash the spinach leaves well and blanch for about 15 seconds in boiling salted water. Remove and refresh immediately in iced water. Drain the leaves, lay them out on a cloth and dry well. Lightly butter 6 small savarin moulds, measuring 9 cm/3½ inches in diameter. Line each mould with spinach leaves, making sure that there are no gaps. Allow an overhang all the way around to fold over and totally enclose the mousse. Place the mousse into a piping bag and fill each of the moulds. Fold over the spinach and tightly cover each mould with buttered foil.
For the sauce, bring the court bouillon to the boil. Remove the intestinal tract from the crayfish by pinching the middle section of the tail between your thumb and forefinger, then twist and pull. Plunge the crayfish into the boiling liquid, cover with a lid and cook for 3 minutes. Drain and allow to cool. Shell the crayfish, reserving 6 with their heads on as garnish. Make the crayfish sauce from the shells.
Place the moulds into a bain-marie of simmering water, then transfer to the oven and
Gently reheat the reserved whole crayfish in a little of the court bouillon. Add the crayfish tails to the sauce and allow to soak for a few seconds. Tip the mousses out of their moulds and place 1 on each plate. Spoon 3 tails into the centre of each ring, pour the sauce around and add a little to the centre of each ring. Garnish each plate with a sprig of fresh dill and a whole crayfish.
© 1989 Ian McAndrew. All rights reserved.