Fish in the cold kitchen, Seafood mousse learning moment.

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This week in Garde Manger, we worked on cold kitchen fish which many of us had never really had any experience with.  We have learned cooking methods of fish and shellfish, but this was definitely a challenge. “Cooking” the fish in what is predominantly a south american cuisine style “ceviche” but also used in the asian, and pacific cuisines as well.

Basically the fish in this case scallops are cooked or cured more accurately in an acid such as lemon or lime juice.  This particular recipe was ceviche l’orange.  The first batch didn’t work out, oil was added to the fish which neutralized the acid.  The second round came out much better as you can see above.

The other recipe was a seafood mousse. It is not pictured however because it was a complete disaster. I learned a lot though. We poached, pureed the salmon really well, but when it comes to a chocolate or a seafood mousse, playing with gelatin can get tricky.  We learned that our mousse did not set properly because we added the gelatin THEN ran the mousse through the sieve.  When we did that, we literally filtered out the gelatin that causes the mousse to hold its mold.  So, when we went to pull them from the molds they immediately fell apart due to its pudding consistency.  Now we know, add the gelatin AFTER you run it through the sieve. Also folding in the egg whites/cream must be done with great care so you do not  deflate the foam and the mousse becomes dense and not light.

However frustrating it was to watch our mousse pour out of the mold like loose concrete, We definitely learned which is always what I try to take from any recipe disaster.

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