My favorite thing served this Easter was the Scallop and Sole Mousseline. I have had Lobster Mousseline at restaurants, but never this combination and I have never made it before at home. I got the recipe from an old Gourmet Magazine; what year I don’t know as during my 30 year subscription of that wonderful publication I would tear out many pages for future use. What I liked best about this dish, (besides the taste!), was the creamy, velvety texture and the sweetness and depth of flavor the scallops added. Because my favorite food photographer was not at this Easter dinner (missed you Dennis!) I don’t have many photos, but believe me this recipe is worth trying.
SCALLOP AND SOLE MOUSSELINE WITH BEURRE BLANC SAUCE, FRESH DILL AND WATERCRESS SALAD
|This is kind of what mine looked like, but I topped with fresh dill and watercress.
I clipped this photo from the internet.
Fortunately my mousseline did not separate as it appears this one did in the photo!
Mine held together like a light, airy pudding. I’ll post a photo the next time I make it.
1/2 lb. sea scallops
1/2 lb. filet of sole, cut into 1″ pieces
1 Tbsp. lightly beaten egg white
1 cup chilled heavy cream
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper (I used white.)
Large pinch of freshly grated nutmeg (I used previously ground.)
2 tsp. chopped fresh chives
1 tsp. chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish
Watercress for garnish
I will admit there are quite a few steps to putting this together, but I don’t think you’ll be disappointed in the end result.
Rinse scallops and sole and pat dry. Puree in a food processor until very smooth. With a wide spoon or pastry spatula force the puree through a fine-mesh sieve into a metal bowl, scraping bottom of sieve as needed.
|This step is important as it creates the ultimate velvety texture.
Set metal bowl in a large bowl of ice and cold water, then add egg white to puree and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon or spatula until well combined. Add cream 2 Tablespoons at a time, stirring after each addition until incorporated. Mousseline should be the consistency of soft mashed potatoes; if it becomes runny or separates, stop adding cream and chill mixture, covered–still in ice bath–until firmer, about 30 minutes. (Fortunately that did not happen to me!) Cover bowl and chill mixture 8 hours.
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cut out 10 rounds (I made 8, but had left-over mousseline. I’ll tell you what I did with that in a minute.) Because I used the 4″ brioche molds I made one design out of parchment to match the scallop shape of the bottom of the mold and then just repeated.
The top of the mousseline is also covered with parchment paper so I measured the top of the mold and cut 8 pieces to cap it off.
Brush molds with some melted butter and line bottom of each with a round of parchment. Chill molds 5 minutes, to set butter, then brush paper and sides of molds again with more melted butter.
Stir salt, pepper, nutmeg, chives, dill into mousseline, then divide among molds or fill your mold to about 2/3 full. Rap molds on counter once or twice to settle mixture, then put a buttered parchment round, buttered side down, on surface of each mousseline. Put molds into a 2″ deep baking pan and bake in hot water bath in oven until mousselines are just set and springy to the touch, 20-25 minutes.
Cool mousselines in molds on a rack until warm, about 10 minutes. Invert onto a large plate and pat dry with paper towels before transferring to serving plates.
Because I had a bit of mousseline left over I spread in the bottom of a mini-bread pan (also lined and topped with buttered parchment) and baked. The next day I sliced and served it more as a fish pate then the mousseline. The texture was a bit more firm, but flavor delicious! Great way to use the leftovers. These mousselines would also be excellent dropped into a cream soup (cold or hot), like asparagus or the original recipe called for adding to Warm Cucumber Soup.
Here’s the recipe for the sauce.
|Here’s Debby whisking the beurre blanc. What a great help!
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup white wine vinegar (I used tarragon vinegar.)
2 Tbsp. finely chopped shallot
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. white pepper
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted good quality butter, cut into Tablespoon sized pieces and chilled.
I love this butter, but any good quality butter is fine.
Boil wine, vinegar, and shallot in a 2-4 qt. heavy saucepan over moderate heat until liquid is syrupy and reduced to 2 to 3 Tbsp., about 5 minutes. Add cream, salt, and white pepper and boil 1 minute. Reduce heat to moderately low and add a few tablespoons butter, whisky constantly and adding new pieces before previous ones have completely liquefied (the sauce should maintain the consistency of hollandaise), lifting pan from heat occasionally to cool mixture.
Remove from heat, then season to taste with salt and pepper and pour sauce through a medium mesh seize into a sauceboat, pressing on and then discarding shallot. To serve, I poured about 3 Tbsp. of beurre blanc on each plate, topped with the scallop and sole mousseline and then topped all with finely chopped fresh dill and watercress. This is a beautiful and easy sauce for so many dishes: steak off the grill, chicken, grilled fish and so much more. I have been using the left-over beurre blanc to saute veg, make eggs in the morning. It’s a nice addition to your fridge!
That’s all for today! In the next blog I will talk about our Easter Lamb, a wonderful Roasted Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash, and most everyone’s favorite dish…
Martha Stewart’s Coconut Key Lime Pie!
Until then…KEEP ON COOKING!
|The girls of Easter, from l to r: Paula, me, Debby and Diana seated.
Thanks to you all for making my favorite holiday so special!