Saturday, 1 December 2012

50s dinner - Salmon Creams

When designing my 50s menu I had to restrain myself from serving every course as a jelly in a mould.  These Salmon Creams let me play with aspic jelly and kept up the presentation being served in grapefruit 'water lillies'.

Salmon Creams
1/2 lb. cooked salmon
1 hard boiled egg
Tomato & cucumber
4 tbsps. mayonnaise
4 tbsps. aspic jelly

These are essentially little salads - flake the fish and mix with the chopped egg, tomato & cucumber, dressed with mayonnaise, and the jelly of course.  Aspic jelly is traditaonlly made from stock, but the reciepes in the book call for commercial aspic which you mix up from powder.  I couldn't find aspic available nowadays, so used plain gelatin.

You can put the the mix straight into the 'water lillies' to set, but as I hadn't started the grapefruit carving and I wanted to give it plenty of time I popped it into a dish first.  I was planning to cut out circles of the set mixture with a pastry cutter to place in the grapefruits, but the mixture was too soft, so I spooned it out instead, onto a bed of lettuce.

The grapefruit water lillies were fairly straight forward. Cut around the grapefruit it a zig zag shape, digging into the centre of the fruit so you're cutting through the flesh as well as the skin.  Give a twist and a good pull to separate the two halfs.  I found the best way to remove the flesh inside to was to use my fingers to get between the fruit and skin, with the flesh then coming away cleanly.

The taste test
The main unknown for me was how the consistency of the dish would be with the aspic.  It wasn't actually very noticible, especially along with the mayonnaise, and I'm not sure anyone else would have even known it contained jelly if I hadn't told them.  All the other salad ingregients were light and tasty, although I'd nomrllay have gone for a different type of dressing over the mayo.  All in all, we started the meal with a sucess.

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