Ring of Fish Mousse in Aspic (Couronne de Poisson en Gelee)

1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
approximately 2 cups fish trimmings -- head, skin and bones (gills and lungs removed)
4 sprigs parsley
1/2 bay leaf
1/4 t. thyme
pinch of saffron, fennel or dill
pinch of chili powder
black pepper, freshly ground
1/4 t. salt
2 c. dry white wine
1 lb. Lean skinned fish fillets (lemon sole, flounder, whiting, silver hake)

Put the sliced carrot and onion into a saucepan (preferably enamel) with the fish trimmings, the herbs, and the seasonings. Add the wine, bring to a boil, and simmer for 30 minutes.

Strain the fish fumet, return it to the pan, and let it cool. Add the fish fillets, bring slowly to the simmer, and cook them at just below the simmer for 8 minutes, until a fork will easily pierce the fish but the fish is not dry and flaky Drain the fish, return the fumet to the pan, and boil it down until it has reduced to 1 cup. Set aside.

Mousse Mixture:
2 T. tomato paste
2 T. mixed fresh green herbs (dill, parsley, chives or scallion tops, basil), minced
About 1/8 t. garlic, peeled and mashed
1 1/4 c. tiny fresh shrimps, cooked (or 1/2 lb. Medium shrimp, peeled and cooked with the fish)
2 T. gelatin
3/4 c. chilled heavy cream

Put the cooked fish fillets through the finest blade of the food mill. Mix the fish puree with the tomato paste, the herbs, the mashed garlic, and all but a dozen of the shrimps.

Soften the gelatin in 1/2 c. of the fish fumet, and then heat gently to dissolve completely. Add it to the fish and beat vigourously until the mixture is smooth. Correct the seasoning.

Whip the cream until soft peaks are formed. Delicately fold the cream into the fish mixture. Set aside.

To prepare the mold:
1 T. gelatin
1 t. tomato paste
dozen shrimps remaining
2 T. minced chives
dozen flat parsley leaves

Soften the gelatin in the remaining 1/2 c. of fish fumet; when softened, stir over gentle heat to dissolve. Beat in the tomato paste, season to taste, and stir over cracked ice until the gelatin is cold and almost syrupy. Pour about 1/3 inch into the bottom of the mold, swirl it around, and place the mold into a bowl of ice cubes long enough to coat the bottom. After about 3 minutes, when the jelly is beginning to set, press the remaining shrimps against the jelly lining in a decorative pattern. Sprinkle the chives into the gelatin and press parsley leaves between the shrimp in a decorative pattern. Chill until set. Mix any remaining shrimps into the fish mixture, then pack all into the prepared mold and chill until set.

Serve, unmolded with sauce rosy.

Serving suggestion:
Place a bed of frisee lettuce lightly dressed on a salad plate and top with a slice of mousse. Pour sauce rosy over the mousse.

Sauce Rosy aux Concombres et au Fromage Blanc (Sauce and Dip with Grated Cucumbers and Cream Cheese)

For 2 to 3 cups:
1 lb. Ripe cucumbers
2 eggs, hard boiled
2/3 c. cream cheese
1/3 c. light cream
2 1/2 T. tomato paste
1/4 c. capers, chopped
1 large garlic clove
1 T. chives, minced
1 T. shallots or scallions, minced
2 T. parsley and basil or dill, minced
2 to 3 T. Cognac (optional)
black pepper, freshly ground
Tabasco to taste

Peel, seed, and grate the cucumbers. Sprinkle them with salt, and let them stand in a colander for about 15 minutes, stirring them from time to time, while they exude their liquid. Rinse them under cold running water, squeeze out the water, and dry them thoroughly on paper towels.

Put the hard-boiled eggs through a food mill to make a "mimosa". Work the cream cheese with an electric beater in a bowl set over ice cubes, add the cream by spoonfuls, and beat until smooth. Add the eggs, the cucumbers, the tomato paste, and the chopped capers. Season heavily with salt, pepper, and Tabasco, the garlic pressed through a garlic press, and the minced chives, shallots or scallion, and herbs. Add the Cognac if you desire, and beat again.

Set aside in the coolest part of the kitchen until time to be served.

Source: Simca's Cuisine, Simone Beck

Prepared by: Lena and Lisa for August 2001 meeting