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Remove the skin and all the bones from the smoked trout. Place the fish in the bowl of a food processor and process to a smooth puree.
Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water in a small saucepan. Let it stand for 5 minutes to soften. Place the saucepan over low heat and stir until the gelatin is dissolved. Remove from the heat.
Add the dissolved gelatin, shallots, oil, lemon juice, paprika, cayenne, and pepper to the pureed trout and process until smooth and well blended. Remove the mixture to a medium-size bowl. Fold in the whipped cream and taste and adjust the seasonings.
Brush a 2cup/1pt/560ml decorative fish mould with oil. (Or substitute a suitable rectangular dish or individual ramekins.) Fill with the mousse mixture, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for several hours until set.
Prepare the watercress sauce. Melt the butter in a medium-size saucepan over low heat. Add the shallot and watercress and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 8-10 minutes.
Transfer the watercress to a blender or food processor, add the cream, and puree. Stir in the lemon juice and chives; season to taste with salt and butter.
To serve the smoked trout mousse, dip the dish in hot water up to the rim for a couple of seconds and invert the mousse onto a platter. Decorate with watercress leaves and diced tomato. Serve with the watercress sauce and toasted white bread or good quality crackers.
2 smoked trout each weighing 1/2lb/225g
1 1/2tsp unflavoured gelatin
3tbsp cold water
2tbsp finely minced shallots
1tbsp olive oil
1 1/2tsp fresh lemon juice
pinch of cayenne pepper
freshly ground black pepper to taste
3/4cup heavy whipping cream, whipped to soft peaks 1/3pt/210ml
watercress leaves, to garnish 1 ripe medium tomato, peeled, seeded and diced, for garnish
For the watercress sauce
1 1/2tbsp unsalted butter
1 shallot, finely minced
1 large bunch watercress, tough stems discarded, coarsely chopped
2cups heavy whipping cream 1pt/560ml
juice of a lemon
1tbsp chopped fresh chives
salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste