Mousse of Salmon

Served at Peterhouse, Cambridge, in the 1920s, this mousse is very good as a first course at dinner or as a cold luncheon dish. In the original recipe the mousse was surrounded by 24 mottled, dark-green gulls’ eggs, three for each serving, lying close and neatly around it on pale green lettuce. But gulls’ eggs are rarely obtainable and very expensive and the mousse is excellent in its own right.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb (½ kg) cooked salmon, skinned, boned and flaked
  • cups (3 dl) double cream
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Salt and pepper
  • Pinch of chopped tarragon, fresh or dried
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 4 egg whites, stiffly beaten
  • cups (3 dl) mayonnaise, home-made for preference

The Garnish

  • 24 stoned green olives
  • 12 to 16 sprigs of watercress or a lettuce heart cut into 8 pieces

Method

Pound the fish with a wooden spoon in a large bowl. Stir in the cream, lemon juice, seasoning, tarragon and nutmeg. Fold in the egg whites a little at a time. Fill a lightly buttered mould or pudding bowl three-quarters full and cover closely with foil. Stand it in a baking tin of almost boiling water and place in a moderate oven, 350°F (180°C, Gas Mark 4), for 30 minutes.

Turn the mousse out while still just warm and then chill for at least 1 hour.

Decorate with the olives and serve surrounded by the sprigs of watercress or lettuce, and with the mayonnaise.

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