What can I say? I made a mousse! Just the word 'mousse' sounds scary and way too difficult for my culinary skill level, but I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to make. I invited a couple of friends over for a visit and recipe testing. This appetizer got a very good review.
I also got some good advice about how to remove the mousse from the ramekin more easily. Place plastic wrap in the ramekin first then spoon the mixture on top of the plastic wrap. Once chilled and firm, the plastic wrap can be lifted out, the mousse turned out onto the serving platter, then the plastic wrap removed. Good idea!
Avocado and Cilantro MousseRecipe courtesy of Marcela Valladolid (Mexican Made Easy on Food Networks)
Serves: 6 to 8 servings
• Vegetable oil cooking spray
• 1 1/2 bunches fresh cilantro, washed and dried, leaves picked off and reserved (about 2 1/4 cups loosely packed)
• 1 avocado
• 3 green onions, white and pale green parts only, thinly sliced
• 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, from about 1 lime
• 1 Serrano chile, stemmed, seeded, deveined, and roughly chopped
• 1 cup cold water, divided
• 2 (1/4-ounce) envelopes unflavored gelatin (recommended: Knox)
• Crostini, for serving, recipe follows
Spray 3 (1 cup) or 6 (1/2 cup) ramekins with vegetable oil cooking spray.
Place the cilantro, avocado, green onions, cream cheese, salt, lime juice, and chile in a food processor and puree until smooth.
Pour 1/4 cup water in a small bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let it sit for a few minutes. Place the remaining 3/4 cup water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Pour the boiling water over the softened gelatin and whisk until the gelatin has dissolved.
Add the gelatin to the mixture in the food processor, pulsing until pureed and thoroughly blended.
Pour the mixture into the prepared ramekins. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.
To unmold, fill a large container with very hot water. Dip the ramekins in the water for 1 minute. Run a small, sharp knife tip around the edge of each mousse. Unmold onto a platter. Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving. Serve with Crostini.
• 1/2 baguette, thinly sliced
• 1/4 cup olive oil
• 1 teaspoon dried oregano
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
DirectionsPreheat a grill pan or charcoal grill. Using a pastry brush, brush the baguette slices with olive oil. Sprinkle with oregano and season with salt and pepper. Grill until golden, 2 to 3 minutes.
(Note: I mixed the olive oil, salt, pepper, and dried oregano together then used a pastry brush to brush the baguette slices. I toasted these under the broiler until brown.)