Our family, in general, loves appetizers. A lot of our recipes come from various sisters and sisters-in-law. Our sister-in-law Vicki is a great cook. She hosts a huge, lively open house on Christmas Eve in the San Bernardino Mountains, and she spends weeks planning and cooking for it. It’s always a special evening, not only for the food and company but also because our brother Sonny pours his famous Christmas beer, which he brews for the holiday. (It’s fabulous, but by no stretch of the imagination can it be called low-alcohol!)
This is Vicki’s recipe for smoked-salmon mousse. It’s a keeper! It always gets rave reviews at holiday parties.
Salmon (or Crab) Mousse
Whisk together and chill:
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons chopped chives
2 tablespoons minced dill
1 finely minced small onion (or half a slightly larger onion)
Juice of 1 lemon
2 dashes Tabasco
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups smoked (or poached) salmon or crab and set aside
Whip 1 cup heavy cream to stiff peaks and set aside
1 envelope gelatin in 1/2 cup boiling water
After it’s fully melted and clear, cool with 1/4 cup of cold water
Take the mayo mix out of the refrigerator and add the softened gelatin mix, stir till mixed. Add the salmon and then fold in the whipped cream. It will be on the soupy side. Chill for a few hours and serve with crackers. The simplest way to make this presentable is to put it in lovely shell molds. However, un-molding anything can be a challenge. Don’t put yourself through it! Instead, line a nice shell mold (or a small bowl) with plastic wrap. Pour the mousse mixture in and tap the bowl on the counter to settle it down into the shape. (Caution: do not try this on a granite countertop! Use the wooden cutting board instead.)
This recipe makes several (three or four) small bowls’ worth, depending on the size of the molds, and I promise that if you take one to each of your holiday get-togethers, you will be a hero! This recipe lasts perfectly for one week in the refrigerator, enough to make it to a couple parties at least.
Now, for my favorite Costco/ Trader Joe instant app: I love the sun-dried tomato pesto strata at both places. I find Trader Joe’s has the best, though. Give it a try. It’s a quick, easy appetizer for drop-in holiday guests!