Due to a peculiar series of events, I was left with an extra side of salmon early in the week. With that extra salmon on the brain, I got to idea generation. I kept coming back to curing the salmon with liquor. The only things was that I had done that a number of times. I could feel a rut coming on, but then I decide that it was time for me to try my hand and rolling sausages using cling-wrap. With a broken terrine replaced, the need to hand roll a terrine was gone, but a salmon sausage was something I wanted to explore.
The thought of grinding salmon is not terribly appealing to me, however, so I thought more and more and came to mousseline. A mousseline is a mousse-like foodstuff that incorporates cream or egg to create an airy texture. In this case, I used the left over salmon.
As fancy as the term “mousseline” sounds, it is something that you can decide to make at 5 and have ready for dinner that night. I skinned the filet, blended it with an egg, a bit of cream and some salt until smooth, and then added preserved lemon and dried anise hyssop from our herb box.
Next, I spooned the puree onto a few layers of clingwrap, rolled the mousseline tightly and twisted them into links. After chilling for a bit in the fridge, I poked a few holes in the “casing” and poached them quickly.
After poaching the sausages, I let them cool a bit, sliced them, and served them over lentils cooked in pork stock with onions, thyme, and orange zest. The lightness of the mousseline was complemented well by the hardiness of the lentils. I can not help but think of how the mousseline would be fantastic served cold over tomatoes in August or over favas in May. It seems to call out for something light – especially with the hyssop flavorings.
With the leftover links, I opted to use a little more of the salmon and create a little textural contrast to the mousseline by making a salmon in a blanket, with the blanket being crispy salmon skin. Without overcooking the salmon, I crisped the skin on a grill. As a lover of fish skin and an appreciator of textural contrast, it was a nice twist.
The mousseline is an easy technique that is often overlooked when faced with fish. I can not help by wonder what a pork mousseline might offer as the texture of the salmon sausage was really nice. I mean, is beef mousseline just a hot dog with a fancy name? That is the door that gets opened when moving slightly left or right of my comfort zone and exactly what I had hoped for when looking at using leftovers in a way that is both creative and non-labor intensive.
A variation on the mousseline ratio in Ratio by Michael Ruhlman
- 375 grams salmon (skinless)
- 1 egg
- 185 grams heavy cream
- Salt to taste
- Seasonings to your desire (I used anise hyssop and preserved lemon)
Step one: Combine egg and salmon in food processor. Process.
Step two: With blade running, add cream in a stream. Stop rhyming.
Step three: Spoon into a bowl and add salt and other seasonings. Poach a small amount, taste and reseason.
Step four: If casing, lay out 5 feet of clingwrap. If not, skip to step five. Do it again on top of the first layer and one last time. Spoon mixture in a line about an inch wide down the length of the clingwrap about a third of the way up the clingwrap. Fold the edge closest to you over the roll and press the roll into sausage form, being careful to remove all air pockets. Roll the remaining way up the clingwrap. Separate into links, tying off each link. Chill. Poke holes.
Step five: Bring salted water or stock to a boil. Add mousseline, either in links or quenelles. Cover pot and turn off heat. After 10 minutes, remove mousseline. Serve hot, cold or at room temp.