|Salmon Verrine with Dill and Lime Mustard and Fennel Mousse, A Maille Culinary Challenge|
Here is an experiment for you: take a French person, preferably over 12, look at this person and say the magic words, "moutarde Maille". Without fail your person will reply "Il n'y a que Maille qui m'aille". Very few brands have managed to hypnotise a whole nation with a motto.
La maison Maille created by Antoine Maille in 1747 did. Soon after he'd opened its first shop in Paris, Maille became King Louis XV's official supplier of vinegar and mustard.
267 years later, Maille opens its first shop abroad (Picadilly, London) and launches a new "collection", subtil flavours favoured by Louis XV's entourage (that's Mme de Pompadour) aptly name Le Potager du Roy.
Why am I giving you an history lesson? because the other day, I got an email from the company asking if I wanted to take up a recipe challenge. The idea is to incorporate product(s) from their exclusive online boutique and creating a unique recipe.
French mustard can be rather strong compared to its sweet mild counterpart, here I chose to work with Moutarde Aneth et Citron Vert a zingy, fresh tasting condiment, picked for its medium strengh.
To get the taste of the mustard through the dish, the recipe needed to be delicately balanced. To complement Aneth (Dill), I chose salmon and salmon chose fennel, which in my opinion was a good choice as the fennel mousse ended up being of a very similar colour to the aneth and lime mustard.
The slightly coarse texture of the salmon and finely chopped shallot contrasted perfectly with the silkiness of the fennel mousse. All the flavours could be picked up individually and married ever so well. As you can see, I am very proud of my recipe and will do it again, though next time, I'll used butter on the top rather than gelatine and will serve it with asparagus topped with Dijonnaise.
This verrine, in spite of its long title is extremely simple and fast to make, it will serve four and could be set in individual glasses or in a terrine.
Salmon Verrine with Dill and Lime Mustard and Fennel Mousse
10 min. cooking time, assemblage time 10 min.
20 g butter (+ 5g to use to cover the verrine)
160 g salmon fillets
1 fennel chopped in slices (keep the leaves for decoration)
1 lemon cut in half & reserve 1 slice for decoration
1 shallot finely sliced
3 tsp Maille Mustard - Aneth and Citron
3 heaped tbsp of creme fraiche (alternatively use 100g of cream cheese)
milk (might be necessary if the mixture is too thick)
Salt and pepper to season to taste
5g butter or 1/2 leaf gelatine to seal
- Add 10 gr butter to a skillet and pan fry salmon fillets both side for a total of 6 minutes, it could still be slightly pink in the middle.
Note : When using frozen salmon make sure it's well cooked (not pink in the middle) cooking time might be slightly longer.
2. In the meantime, gently melt 10g of butter in a saucepan and add the chopped fennel, squeeze lemon lightly over the top (the equivalent of 2tbs), cover and leave fennel to simmer for 10-15 minutes until the fennel is very soft. Turn heat of and leave to cool until it's needed
Note :There is no need to season at this stage.
3. While this is doing chop the shallot as finely as you can.
4. When the salmon is cooked, take off the hob and let it cool for a few minutes. Skin the fillet(s) and place them with the juices in a small food processor.
5.Season and add 3 heaped tablespoons of creme fraiche.
6. Process, it's done when it reaches a firm and smooth consistency with very little pieces of salmon. If the mixture turns into a thick ball add a little milk.
7. Put the mixture in a bowl, add 3 teaspoons of Aneth and Lime Mustard and the finely chopped shallot, mix well with a fork.
8. Rinse the equipment clean and process the fennel until it gets smooth, season generously and mix a little more.
Choose a serving dish, either a tumbler glass or four small glasses or a terrine dish, layer half the salmon first, press as much as you can to get the air out, then spread out the whole of the fennel mixture, press to get the air bubbles out, top with the rest of the salmon, press again.
If you use butter to seal, melt 5g of butter, leave it to cool slightly and pour on the top, decorate with fennel leaves and a slice of lemon, if you use gelatine, melt 1/2 leaf according to the instruction and proceed the same way as with butter.
Store in the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour, verrines can be prepared several hours in advance or even the day before. Serve with toasts.