The last week, in fact –this whole summer– has been intensely busy. This past week was made super sparkly with the added pleasures of good company from NYC and a few fun day trips on top of seemingly endless harvest and veggie prep, baking for market, etc. All this fun meant that once again I’m right up to the wire: 34 minutes left to post! So let’s get right to it.
I decided to make pots de chicken liver mousse, essentially Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s chicken liver and apple terrine in little ramekins, or pots. I also decided to make a seafood terrine with three fish: salmon, shrimp, and cod. And to enjoy these tasty bits with, I made a good crusty baguette from local Vermont wheat and oats as well as a batch of Danish hazelnut & pumpkinseed crackers.
The first thing I did this afternoon was to invite my pals Jenn & Mandy for dinner. To make this all mousse-making and terrine-building happen in a timely fashion, I’d need the added inspiration that inviting good friends over always brings to a task.
The second task, pictured above, was to shell a half cup of pumpkin seeds, since the local store doesn’t carry the already shelled kind! It was worth it as the crackers turned out wonderfully: crispy, nutty, and particularly nice with the chicken liver mousse, along with either a bit of cornichon or a bite of pruneaux à l’Armagnac.
In between mousse and terrine making, I baked a really good baguette, as well as the crackers.
Then I started on the three-fish seafood terrine. First I blitzed each of the three main ingredients: the salmon, the shrimp, and the cod. To the cod I added a bunch of parsley, and each one was blitzed for anywhere fro 3 to 4 minutes, and the salmon and shrimp each became smooth and pasty, but the cod never did break down as smoothly, perhaps because it was a piece of previously frozen fish?
Here are each of the seafoods after being blitzed, and with the addition of salt, white pepper, and part of the whipping cream:
Then the other half of the cream was whisked until just before it could form peaks, and this was added to the fish purees as well. Each was layered into a well-buttered loaf pan, covered with tin-foil, placed in a bain-marie, and then into a 300° oven for approximately 55 minutes.
Finally I tackled the little pots de chicken liver. As I mentioned above, I followed Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s recipe, and it was both straightforward to make and delicious. I started by frying the livers and then the apples in butter.
I continued to follow Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s recipe, adding spices and seasoning to the mousse, a bit of Armagnac, along with gelatine and lots of sweet cream butter. I decided to chill and ultimately serve these in little ramekins. Next time I might try to unmold them from a fancy form, but today it was ramekins.
My friends arrived just after the seafood terrine went in the oven, and when I checked the little pots of chicken liver mousse, they were firmed up! We took are first taste and agreed it was a very smooth and yummy liver mousse, and good with both the prunes and the cornichons.
Soon after, the seafood terrine came out of the oven, and we decided to taste some warm. It tastes excellent, and the texture was really superb and light, but it didn’t hold together well at all. I need to work on my seafood terrine technique!
I just had a second slice, cooled somewhat, and it still doesn’t adhere together, but holy moly it’s tasty! I really want to try this again, and get it right.
Altogether it was a more hurried and last minute project than I’d like, but it’s what I could manage this month, and I know the leftovers will be making my mouth & belly happy for a few days to come.