Sunday, June 01, 2008

Anchovy Mousse

Now that Safari Supper has been and gone, more of which anon, I can reveal to an anxiously waiting world that the first course as served at Millbrooker Towers was an anchovy mousse served with home baked poppy seed rolls and a baby spinach and cherry tomato salad.

BathNick has already had an advanced copy of the recipe and has seemingly acted upon it, too, judging by the photo of the inside of his fridge which he's kindly sent to me and by the accompanying email: "...Looking forward to trying this mousse out on any stray that ventures through our portal in the next day or so...."

For interested parties, here's how you make it.

This will serve up to 8 people as a light starter, 6 for normally hungry people.

125g tin of anchovies (in olive oil works best)
300ml double cream
3 tablespoons of very finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1 tablespoon brandy (use the cheap stuff - don't waste decent drinking brandy in a food recipe, as if I need to tell you)
Gelatine to set a half to one pint's worth of liquid.

1. Take the anchovy fillets, drain them (reserve whatever liquid they came in) and bash the little buggers like hell in a pestle and mortar until they become a blended mush. Alternatively chop 'em up in a food processor until the same effect is achieved. (I prefer the slightly rougher texture from bashing them, but each to their own).

2. Beat the cream until fairly stiff (but still soft enough to mix ingredients into).

3. Stir anchovy mush into the beaten cream, also add the reserved liquid from their tin, the dill, the brandy and the chopped onion.

4. Heat the gelatine as per packet instructions and add warm gelatine liquid to the mixture. This will re-liquify the beaten cream, don't panic - the gelatine will do the rest for you.

5. Pour mixture into ramekins or jam jars or a bleeding great bowl or anything else you have to hand. Allow to cool to room temperature and then refridgerate until set (a few hours or a few days, it matters not).

Serve with lightly toasted and thinly cut wholegrain bread and a smidgen of green salad. Sit back and watch as your guests are astounded at your amazing abilities in the kitchen and make lip smacking guzzly noises throughout the first course.

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