When I was a kid, and my grandma was cooking, I had a very, very important task. I was about 6 or 7 and she made sure that I contributed to the chores in the kitchen and otherwise. Yes, I was the only child and deserved to be pampered, but my grandma wanted me to learn a few home truths and then some.
So, every evening, I had the task of marinating the fish to fry. Don’t raise an eyebrow, I am Bengali, and grew up in a staunch Bengali household, so a meal without fish was almost like blasphemy. Coming back to the point, I was given the ingredients in perfect measure along with the pieces of fish, and my task was to marinate the pieces to perfection. Don’t question how a 60 year old could trust a 7 year old to marinate fish, that’s what grandmas do! They believe in starting young, and so do I! So that pretty much started my love affair with fish.
I love fish, in any form. Fried, baked, steamed, stewed, sushi etc. etc. But more than eating fish, I love experimenting with it, and so should you. Because it is the most versatile and delectable meat in the world (I know I sound like a heartless carnivore, but I can’t help it). And, it’s simple, it takes very little time to cook, it is rather cheap to buy, and well you need very few ingredients to make a delectable fish dish (Ahhh… that just rhymed!).
We look at fish preparations primarily for the main course, but can you imagine a fish preparation that is NOT fish fingers, that can also be a bar snack? Well, allow me…
Here goes the recipe for my fish mousse, laced with a pomegranate custard, perched beautifully on a cracker. First things first don’t worry if you buy some things off the shelf, like crackers. But, make sure your involve you kids in the process to make this, because it simply is a lot of fun. Here goes the recipe…
For the fish mousse
Fish fillet (surmai or tuna) – 100 gms
Rosemary – 1tsp
Garlic – 3 pods (finely chopped)
Green chillies – 2 nos
Pepper – 1 tbsp (powdered)
Salt – Always to taste
Butter – 1 big knob
Cream – 20 ml
Lime juice – 2 tsp
For the pomegranate custard
Pomegranate juice – 45 ml
Egg yolks – 3 nos
Milk – 50 ml
Cream – 30ml
Salt – again to taste
Pepper – to taste
Fresh basil – 1 tbsp (shredded)
For the fish mousse
- First up, make sure the fillet has absolutely no bones. Your kids can help you with this, just a sense of touch and tweezers work just fine.
- Now cut the fillet into about 1 inch pieces.
- In a pan add the butter and let it melt.
- Once melted, add the garlic, let it brown slightly. Add the chopped green chillies and then tip in the fillets of fish.
- Toss that around, add the salt and pepper and the rosemary and give it a good stir.
- Turn the gas on a low flame and add the cream.
- Cover and cook for about 2 minutes, turn off the gas.
- Let it come up to room temperature and add the lime juice and combine well.
- Once that is done, blend it until smooth! Fish mousse – CHECK!
For the pomegranate custard
Now I know it sounds like a weird combination, but this is going to be a savoury custard and will also elevate the flavours of the fish mousse. So, stay with me, and try it out. Here goes…
- Separate the yolks from the whites, this is a task your kids will enjoy, because it can be messy but is super fun.
- Now beat the egg yolks and while you do that, warm the cream and milk in a thick bottomed pan. Warm it. Don’t boil it.
- Add a ladle of the milk mixture to the beaten yolks, mix well. Now add this entire mix to the milk mixture in the pan, add the basil and cook on a very low flame stirring constantly until thickened. Turn off the gas, and bring the mixture to room temperature.
- Add the pomegranate juice, salt and pepper. And whisk well, until well combined .
- Let it cool in the fridge for about 2 hours. it will thicken further.
Putting it all together
- Take a cracker, cover it with the mousse.
- Now in a piping bag, add the pomegranate custard, and pipe a small dollop of it, in the centre.
- For this fish mousse, please make sure the mixture is at room temperature before you add the lemon juice, or it will split.
- The same goes for the pomegranate custard. Add the juice only after the custard has come to room temperature. In fact, once the custard is cooked, before storing it in the fridge, strain it to get rid of any granular bits whatsoever, and you will be left with silky smooth custard with an underlying flavour of basil.
- Ideally, make the custard first and then the mousse, so while the custard cools in the fridge, you can attack the mousse, with some time in between, to sip on a glass of wine! The mousse takes, tops, 20 minutes to get done, so well!
- You could add some chopped olives, black or green to the prepared mousse, for a slight differentiation in the creamy texture.
There you have it, a smooth and flavourful fish mousse, on a crunchy cracker, with a ruby red custard that just lifts the flavour to another level. Trust me, this is tying your shoe laces easy, and packs a flavour punch that will get you all a’drooling. Make this and you will be the ruby crowned star of the day. You can always thank me in the comments sections and follow me on Facebook and Instagram. And always remember, I would never feed you or recommend anything I wouldn’t eat myself! Happy cooking!