Mousseline of Redfish Nantua
“Nantua” always means crayfish — crawfish, in Louisiana. These delicate mousseline fish molds are napped in creamy Sauce Nantua and surrounded by crawfish tails. Adjust the heat in this dish with the amount of cayenne. Taste, taste, taste.
- Fresh Redfish - 1 pound (alt. firm, white-fleshed fish)
- Egg Whites - 1
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 1 quart
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Dash of nutmeg
- Dash of cayenne pepper
- Sauce Nantua
- Onion - 1 medium, chopped
- Carrot - 1, chopped
- French shallots - 2, chopped
- Pinch of thyme
- Bay Leaf - 1/2
- Parsley - 2 teaspoons, minced
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Olive Oil - 1/4 cup
- Crawfish - 1 pound, cooked, heads separated from tails
- Garlic Clove - 1
- Dry white wine - 2 cups
- Brandy - 1/2 cup
- Fish stock - 4 cups
- Tomato Puree - 1/2 cup
- Unsalted Butter - 1/2 cup, slightly softened
- Flour - 1/2 cup
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 1 cup, to desired consistency
- Brandy to taste
- Salt, freshly ground pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste
To prepare the fish: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Puree the fish in a processor, scraping down the sides. Add the egg white and blend for 30 seconds, then add half the cream and process for another 30 seconds. Remove this mixture to a mixing bowl set over ice and beat in the remaining cream with a wooden spoon until the mixture is light. Season to taste with salt, pepper, nutmeg, and red pepper. Pour the prepared mixture into small individual ramekins or custard cups. Place the cups in a baking pan and fill with hot water halfway up the sides of the cups. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the mousseline is set and firm to the touch. It is a good idea to prepare on sample and bake, then check the texture and seasoning, adjusting before finish the remaining cups.
To prepare the sauce: Saute the first seven ingredients in 1/4 cup of the olive oil until the vegetables are softened and tender. Add the crawfish heads and garlic, cooking until the heads are red. Add the wine, brandy, fish stock, and puree. Simmer for 15 minutes, then strain, reserving the heads and the liquid. Drain the heads on paper towels; pat dry. Remove the shells from the tails and set the tails aside. Grind the heads in a grinder or food processor. Add the ground heads to the liquid and simmer again for 10 minutes. Strain well through a fine-meshed sieve and discard the solids. Mix the butter and flour to form a roux and stir into the developing sauce to thicken. Stir in the cream, brandy, salt, pepper, and cayenne, tasting and adjusting seasoning to taste. Add the crawfish tails and warm through.
To serve: Unmold a mousseline cup on each warmed serving dish. Spoon Sauce Nantua over each, napping the molds with the sauce. Garnish with crawfish tails.