Saturday, September 1, 2012

Tuna Mousse


(a) All measurements are suggestions at best, especially since this recipe dates from the days when tuna came in 7 oz. cans.  Then it came in 6 oz. cans and I certainly didn't open a second can and put in 1/6 of it.  Now it comes in  5 oz cans but sometimes you can find 7 oz packets.  Using less than 7 oz. is OK but 5 would probably not be enough.  
(b) I made this in Israel in a faculty-housing kitchen and some of the guests were Orthodox.  The (minor) modifications improved it.

1. Chop fine and set aside
     2 Tb. parsley, minced
     1 Tb. minced green onion or 2 scallions, sliced 1/8"
NOTE: These two do not seem equivalent to me.  I use 2 scallions. In Israel, the scallions were HUGE so I used only 1, white and green parts, both. 
      Dill to be the equivalent of 1 tsp dry
I prefer fresh, using about 4 sprigs, maybe 1 or 2 Tb, if you measure.  More dill is always good.  I also set aside some for garnish.

2.  Chop and set aside separately from other vegetables
     1/2 c. cucumber, plus a little extra, separately,
             for garnish
Separately, I assume, because it is heavy so you don't want to beat it with the egg beater when the time comes.  It seems to me you could fold in all the vegetables at the same time, but maybe the minced ones disperse better if you beat them? 

3.  In a large bowl, sprinkle
     1 envelope unflavored gelatin
     2 Tb lemon juice (I use juice from 1/3 lemon)
and let stand for 5 minutes.

4.  Meanwhile, or toward the end of the 5 minutes if you have a fast boiler:  Boil
     1/2 c. water
Water must be boiling, says Mom.  She means that when you add the soup to the lemon/gelatin mixture, the water must have just boiled or the gelatin won't dissolve completely.

5.  Add to boiling water
     1 tsp. Carmel Parve Chicken-style soup mix or
          1 chicken bouillion cube
Then add soup to bowl with gelatin mixture and stir to dissolve all the gelatin.

6.  Stir in and then beat with egg beater until frothy  (or beat with a fork until you are tired of doing it, if you are on sabbatical and have no egg beater; you'll get a denser mousse, but a tasty one):
     that PARSLEY/CHIVE/DILL mixture
     1/2 c. mayonnaise
     1/4 c. milk (low fat is fine)
     1 tsp. prepared mustard (Dijon, e.g.)
     1/4 tsp. black pepper

7.  Fold in
     1 can tuna (7 oz.)
(regarding "7 oz.": see above. I use water-packed tuna, squeezed dry, and flaked with fork or fingers)
     that chopped CUCUMBER
Put into mold and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or overnight if you can.

8.  Unmold and decorate with
      pimiento, says Mom
       a little chopped cucumber and a bit of dill, too, say I

HINT :   Using an 8" disposable cake or pie tin as a mold works famously because it is so easy to unmold.   Just set the pan in hot tap water for about 30 seconds.  In Israel I used a disposable cake pan out of necessity.  For sentimental reasons, I often use the molds I inherited from Mom, but a cake pan is just as good.

rjm 1/20/97; 12/16/98; 1/3/00; 8/23/12
typos corr 10/17/12