Welcome back to the 70th. Some of us remember those extremely popular cucumber and salmon mousses and unrealistically bright jello were. When I moved to America from the Soviet Union my first books I purchased at the nearest used-books store were the Family Circle series cookbooks. I admired the bright festive photos of huge chunks of ham with “clove-nailed” pineapple or orange rings, jewel colors of the jello, clouds of cucumber mousse, and a fish-shaped salmon mousse on a holiday table.
Today the heroes are reborn. We find different variations of cucumber and salmon mousse more often. And this is good. I personally adore them both: cucumber and salmon. Besides, for dessert, I really like to serve jelly with chunks of berries in it– but my jelly is made of all natural juice and fresh berries and it. It is such a delicious, refreshing, and low calorie treat.
As for the “retro” cucumber mousse, it is a light and airy appetizer. I like to serve it any time of the year. But, because of its spring color, most of all I enjoy it on Easter. This mousse stays in peaceful harmony with Easter delicate colors: baby blue, delicate yellow, pale green and pink.
It is great to be served with spicy shrimp or smoked salmon. Gravlax is really good too. If I want to serve something special and to add a “wow-factor” to my Easter table I top this pale green mouse with pink salmon caviar. It looks stunning and tastes heavenly.
Any leftovers can be used as a delicious salad dressing – it is so good on top of iceberg wedges.
For interesting dark green speckles cucumbers should be used with their skin. If the skin is very thick I prefer to remove all or part of it.
Happy Easter and enjoy the world!
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 envelope of gelatine about 1 tbsp
- 1 cucumber or 3 Persian cucumbers peeled or partly peeled, discard tough seeds, and cut into chunks
- 1 package 8 oz/250 g cream cheese 8 oz/250 g cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2/3 - 1 cup heavy cream
- pinch of cayenne pepper or a few drops of Tabasco
- 1 small garlic clove coarsely chopped (garlic, optional)
- ground black pepper
- fresh dill
- cucumber slices parsley, cilantro, green onion or dill
Prepare all the ingredients.
In a small bowl mix the lemon juice and 3 tbsp hot water. Add the gelatine and dissolve it. If it doesn’t dissolve well heat the mixture in a microwave for 20 seconds.
In a food processor or blender puree the cucumber chunks. Add the rest of ingredients, except the gelatine. Beat to airy cream.
Add the gelatine. Beat. Taste. Add more salt, pepper, and lemon juice, if needed.
Pour the mousse into 8 ramekins or one large mold. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate the mousse for at least two hours or overnight.
When ready to serve, dip molds in hot water half way, run a thin knife around the outsides, place a plate or a platter on the mold, and carefully turn it upside down.
Garnish with fresh dill, shrimp, salmon slices, or caviar. Serve with toasts, melba toasts, or crackers.
Optionally, arrange very thing cucumber slices on top of the mousse slightly overlapping.