Ruth D. Silverman, a longtime editor and writer for IronMan magazine and author of the WordPress blog Ruth in Hollywood, makes a wonderful shrimp mousse for her annual Oscar party and can occasionally be persuaded to make it for other gatherings. I was lucky enough to talk her into making it for my solstice party this year.
She says the mother of her lifelong best friend, Phyllis, used to make it for special occasions, including the party that followed Ruth and Phyllis’s high school graduation. It has all the hallmarks of a 1950s or early 1960s recipe, so it’s been around for a while. I wouldn’t be surprised if it came from the back of a package at some point, but I know it only by the name Ruth gives it:
Mrs. Wanetick’s Famous Shrimp Mousse
3/4 pound shrimp
4 ounces cream cheese
1/2 can tomato soup
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 package unflavored gelatin
juice of 1/4 lemon
1/4 c or so celery
Chop the shrimp, celery and onions fine. Squeeze the lemon juice over all and let stand in a mixing bowl while you prepare the rest of the recipe.
Dissolve the gelatin in the cold tomato soup in a saucepan, then bring it to a boil. Mix the cream cheese into the soup. Pour the soup mixture over the shrimp mixture, add the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. Pour into a mold or molds and chill. It makes about four cups of mousse–enough for your party and leftovers for breakfast.
Ruth feels very passionately that shrimp ought to taste like shrimp (can’t disagree with that!) and will spend quite some time searching for the right shrimp for this mousse. Perhaps she will devote space on her own blog to that search as her Oscar party nears.
Happy New Year!