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Shrimp Mousse


lronick
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I'm planning a dinner party and want to cook the "Turbans of Shrimp and Pasta" dish from Robuchon's "Simply French". It's basically a savarin mold lined with a spiral of spaghetti and filled with a shrimp mousse into which some whole shrimps are added. The whole thing is steamed, unmolded, and served with a sauce.

My question has to do with the mousse ingredients - pureed shrimp into which heavy cream is introduced and blended. That's it! Can any of you food scientists tell me what will make this mousse set up under heat? Most mousses of this type that I've seen include some egg, sometimes just whites, sometimes whole. But just shrimp and cream? How does that work? Do I dare question the great Robuchon/Wells team?

BTW - I already received my savarin molds from Bridge in NY. It's going to be a very cool-looking dish.

If you cook with s__t, you wind up with s__t...Gerard Pangaud

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Aren't you missing a binder?

Here's the step for the mousse:

"In a food processor or blender, combine 4 ounces of the shrimp (they're raw and peeled) with the cream and blend until fluffy and mousselike."

So , no binder. That's my dilemma. Of course, I could just try this in advance to see if it works, but that would be too easy :hmmm: .

If you cook with s__t, you wind up with s__t...Gerard Pangaud

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Strange that it doesnt say anything about keeping the mousse cool. Since you are basically creating a forcemeat, it might actually break if enough heat is introduced.

Personally I would do it like this: Blend just the shrimp, pass through a tamis (drum sieve). Cool over ice, gradually add the cream still over ice, season. Test poach some mousse wrapped in clingfilm. You want a delicate, fluffy consistency, not rubbery and bouncy. Add more cream if rubbery.

That is the way I was taught to do a mousse. Also I would have added a little egg white in the blender. It might be there for binding, but maybe also for "fluff".

Edit: Re-read the instructions. They actually say "blend until fluffy and mousselike". Maybe the cream is standing in for the egg white. I still think there is risk of breakage if the protein/cream mixture gets too hot.

Edited by TheSwede (log)
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Check out the picture of the pineapple dessert in the same book. There's a big hair on the plate. Given that oversight, I don't imagine questioning the Robuchon/Wells team would be too terribly gauche....go ahead and add an egg white if you aren't comfortable.

Don't try to win over the haters. You're not the jackass whisperer."

Scott Stratten

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Check out the picture of the pineapple dessert in the same book.  There's a big hair on the plate.  Given that oversight, I don't imagine questioning the Robuchon/Wells team would be too terribly gauche....go ahead and add an egg white if you aren't comfortable.

Funny you should mention the pineapple dessert. I'm also planning on making that one for my dinner party (on the 24th). Have you made that dish, despite the fact that there's a hair on the plate?

I also chose "Rabbit with Fava Beans and Baby Onions" as the main course. Any experience with that? I'm a bit worried that favas won't still be available (in the D.C. area) by the 24th, but the recipe says that asparagus can be substituted.

Edited by lronick (log)

If you cook with s__t, you wind up with s__t...Gerard Pangaud

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Funny you should mention the pineapple dessert. I'm also planning on making that one for my dinner party (on the 24th). Have you made that dish, despite the fact that there's a hair on the plate?

I also chose "Rabbit with Fava Beans and Baby Onions" as the main course. Any experience with that? I'm a bit worried that favas won't still be available (in the D.C. area) by the 24th, but the recipe says that asparagus can be substituted.

I have made it...but I left out the hair.

I love the look of the rabbit, but haven't made it.

I did do that mousse wrapped in smoked salmon with the rows of caviar all lined up perfectly and nearly had a mental breakdown. I love the potato bacon thing, too. I've had the book for at least 15 years, and it's still one I page through regularly.

Looking forward to some pictures from your dinner!

Don't try to win over the haters. You're not the jackass whisperer."

Scott Stratten

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Shrimp is a natural source of transglutamate, which helps it to bind when cooked. I do add egg to my shrimp force when I make it into a mousse, personally, as I think the white makes it a little lighter and aerates it. I also like some herbs (tarragon, chervil, parsley, etc.) garlic and shallots in there. It is also nice to sear the mousse, either after steaming or forget the steaming and just sear and roast it, as it give it a little bit of texture in addition to the whole shrimp.

Ryan Jaronik

Executive Chef

Monkey Town

NYC

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