Redfish en Croute aux Deux Mousses
Like coulibiac, this dish arrives at the table as a golden puff pastry shaped and decorated like a fish. Opened, it reveals pink (salmon) and green (spinach) mousse sandwiched between fillets of Gulf redfish. Other fish may also be used; substitute any firm-fleshed fish.
- Salmon Mousse
- Salmon - 2 pounds, fresh, skinned and cubed
- Salt - 1/4 teaspoon
- Freshly ground white pepper - 1/4 teaspoon
- Egg Whites - 4
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 10 to 11 ounces
- Spinach Mousse
- Spinach - 5 to 6 pounds, fresh, stemmed and blanched
- Egg Whites - 6
- Pinch of nutmeg
- Salt - 1/4 teaspoon
- Fresh ground pepper - 1/4 teaspoon
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 4 ounces
- Redfish - 4 to 5 pound, whole, cleaned (alt. firm-fleshed fish)
- Puff Pastry - 12-by-14-inch sheet, frozen or homemade
- Melted Butter - 1 cup
- Beurre Blanc
- Shallots - 2 ounces, minced
- Dry White Wine - 1/2 to 3/4 cup
- Unsalted Butter - 3/4 pound, at room temperature, cut into pieces
- Parsley and watercress sprigs
To prepare the salmon mousse: Put the salmon pieces into a food processor with the salt, pepper, and egg whites. Puree for 1 minute. Slowly add the cream while processing. Scoop the mousse into a chilled bowl and reserve in the refrigerator.
To prepare the spinach mousse: Drain the blanched spinach thoroughly. Put into a food processor with the egg whites, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Puree for 1 minute. Slowly add the cream while processing. Scoop the mousse into a chilled bowl and reserve in the refrigerator.
To prepare the fish: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a baking pan with parchment and lightly brush with butter. Remove the fish fillets from the backbone, keeping the head and tail intact. Set aside. Roll the pastry into a large rectangle and place on the prepared baking pan. Arrange the head, tail, and bottom fillet along the top of the pastry. Spread the bottom fillet with salmon mousse, then with spinach mousse. Cover with the top fillet. Lightly paint the pastry with melted butter and trim the pastry around the fish following the shape of the fish, leaving a 1-inch margin. Brush the remaining pastry with butter. Fold in half, butter-side in, and place over the fish. Smooth down over the fish to meet the bottom pastry, and press together to seal. Brush the pastry with more butter. Cut pastry scraps to resemble scales and fins and decorate the fish-shaped pastry packet. Paint all over with butter and bake until golden, about 40 minutes.
To prepare the beurre blanc: Combine the shallots and wine in a saute pan or small saucepan and cook over high heat until the wine has reduced to half its original volume. Remove from the heat. Whisk in the butter, a few pieces at a time, until the mixture is emulsified. If it becomes too cool to melt the incoming butter, place back over low heat for a few seconds; if it becomes too hot and streaks of yellow butter appear, remove from heat and whisk in several bits of butter until the streaks disappear. Reserve in a warm place, over tepid water, or in an insulated container.
To serve: Using the parchment paper, lift the fish carefully and slip onto a decorative platter. Slip out the parchment and brush away any crumbs. Decorate the platter with sprigs of parsley and watercress. Bring the fish to the table with the pastry intact, then slice into 1-inch sections across the body portion. Place several pieces on each warmed serving dish and spoon beurre blanc over and around the pieces.