Saturday, November 05, 2011

Scallop Mousse with Ginger-Infused Veloute (Page 74)

RECIPE #1282

  • Date: Saturday, September 24, 2011 -- 6pm
  • Location: East Lansing, MI
  • Kitchen: Our House
  • Fellow Chef: Helen
  • Dining Companions: Matty, Charles, and Clara
  • Recipe Rating: B

I had a free Saturday in September and I decided to do some serious cooking. I picked two time-consuming recipes from The Book (this one and another) and invited Helen, Charles, and Clara over to share in the fruits of my labor. I started this recipe by cooking leeks, shallots, fennel bulb, carrot, celery, star anise, and ginger in butter. I added some white wine and reduced, then added fish stock and reduced again. I added heavy cream, salt, pepper, chives, parsley, cilantro, and tarragon, and let the herbs steep. I strained the sauce, then added ginger matchsticks and reduced it again. I seasoned the sauce with lemon juice, salt, and pepper. While all that was going on, I also made the scallop mousse. I pureed scallops, egg white, salt, and white pepper in the food processor, then added cream and processed it some more. I divided the mixture amongst ramekins, which had been buttered and lined with waxed paper. I put the ramekins in a baking pan with boiling water coming halfway up the sides of the ramekins. I baked them until a toothpick came out clean. I inverted each mousse onto paper towels, then a plate. Helen helped me sauce them, and sprinkle them with herbs before serving.

I put off making this recipe for a long time because pureed seafood products really don't appeal to me. So the word "scallop" next to the word "mousse" set off red flags for me. However, this dish wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. The sauce had an excellent flavor. There was a lot of depth to it, which wasn't terribly surprising given all the additions and reductions that went into it. The flavor of the mousse was ok too -- a little bit too much like scallop-flavored whipped cream for my taste, but it wasn't bad. No one had any major complaints about this dish. My special gentleman said he would have rather just eaten a seared scallop with the yummy sauce rather than the scallop mousse, but there was not consensus at the table on that point. Although the dish exceeded expectations, I won't be making it again. No one was terribly wowed by it.

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Only 11 recipes left to go!

This was the last recipe in the Hors D'oeuvres and First Courses section of The Book! This is one of the longest sections of The Book, with 110 recipes in it. There were definitely times when I felt like I would never make it through this section. But here I am! The section is complete. Below, in no particular order, are my favorite five recipes from this part of The Book:
  • Sweet Potato Chips with Lime Salt -- It's hard to go wrong with deep-fried potato products, but these chips were exceptionally delicious even within that genre. The lime salt was a wonderful complement to these ultra-thin chips. So very, very delicious!
  • Parmesan Walnut Salad in Endive Leaves -- Despite what my dear friend Mike says, I am happy to admit when my grading of a recipe was wrong. In this case, I clearly made a mistake by giving this recipe an A- when it truly deserved an A. This is a beautiful, delicious hors d'oeurve which I come back to again and again. I have made this dish for several baby showers, bridal luncheons, Easter dinners, department parties, etc. I passed this recipe on to my mother-in-law, and now she makes it for special events too. It is super simple to throw together and super delicious. Definitely worthy of an A!
  • Arepas with Yucatecan Pulled Pork and Pickled Onions - These little cheesy corn cakes topped with pulled pork and pickled onions were out of this world! I made these and another appetizer when we had our crawfish boil last year and these just flew off the plate. Absolutely delicious!
  • Coconut Shrimp with Tamarind Ginger Sauce -- Seafood is not my favorite, and shrimp is certainly not something I usually crave. But these coconut shrimp were amazing! The breading was awesome, they were perfectly fried, and the dipping sauce complemented them wonderfully. Easily the best coconut shrimp I have ever eaten. I made these for New Year's Eve at my in-laws house, and everyone loved them!
  • Candied Walnuts -- I made these walnuts for a Tuesday dinner back in graduate school. They were fantastic! I love the sweetness and crunch of good candied nuts. The combination of powdered sugar, cayenne, and salt really worked well with the walnuts. And deep-frying made them extra crispy. Yum!
There have been sections of The Book where it has been difficult to identify five truly outstanding recipes. In this section, however, I had the opposite problem. There are so many delicious recipes in this section that several things I make frequently (like Pita Toasts and Cheese Straws) didn't even make my top five list! It was tremendous fun to make the wide variety of hors d'oeuvres and first courses in this section. And although some didn't turn out so well (the Scallion, Mushroom, and Shrimp Custards come to mind), for the most part they were very tasty!

And now I am one step closer to finishing the project! I have now completed 15 sections of The Book, with only 6 left to finish! And truth be told, I am a little behind in my blogging but I have already finished another section. So really I only have 5 sections left to go! I can hardly believe it.


ana rita said...

Ha, the candied walnuts! I remember blow-drying those in your bathroom... :P

Teena said...

Oh my gosh, I totally forgot about that! Good times! :)