Smoked Fish and Almond Mousse

This light mousse is topped with crisp almond flakes. It makes a good contrast to the Christmas meat and turkey, either as a first course or eaten with the cold meats. It is easy to make if you have a liquidiser, and you can either freeze it or make it a day or two beforehand. It should be served well chilled.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb (400 g) smoked cod or whiting fillets
  • 2 lightly whisked eggs
  • 3 tablespoons (3 x 15 ml spoon) milk
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 oz (25 g) butter
  • 2 oz (50 g) flaked almonds
  • ½ pt (250 ml) double cream
  • 2 teaspoons (2 x 5 ml spoon) dried fennel, oregano or tarragon
  • salt, black pepper

Method

Heat oven to Gas Mark 4/350°F/180°C. Put a roasting pan full of hot water on the centre shelf. Chop the fish roughly and remove any skin. Drop the eggs and milk into the liquidiser. Add about a quarter of the fish and whizz up until smooth and then add the lemon juice and the rest of the fish bit by bit, whizzing after each addition. As it gets very thick you will probably have to stop and stir it around now and then to make sure it all turns to a smooth purée. Transfer to a bowl. Melt the butter in a pan and quickly stir the flaked almonds around it until well coated. Remove from heat. Whisk up the cream until fairly thick, not stiff, and stir gently into the fish purée. Season with herbs, a little salt and plenty of black pepper.

Butter a soufflé dish and spoon the mixture into it. Smooth top and sprinkle with the butter-coated almonds. Put the dish in the pan of water in the oven and cook for 25-30 minutes. Leave to cool and chill well before serving.

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