Food for New Year’s: Light Salmon Mousse

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Don't worry, your light salmon mousse doesn't have to be covered in filigree too. Just mix it up as directed.

Once upon a time, salmon mousse would have been the exclusive province of gourmet cooks, but these days we’re seeing a democratization of food. The move to make the formerly exotic more accessible is your gain; this dish is the perfect light appetizer for guests who have resolved to lose weight, yet still substantial enough for those preferring hearty fare.

2 envelopes (2 tablespoons) unflavored gelatin
1 1/4 cups cold water
2 16-ounce cans salmon, drained, skin removed, bones crushed
2 cups plain low fat yogurt
2 tablespoons mayonnaise (optional)
2 tablespoons fresh snipped dill or 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
2 tablespoons grated onion
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 teaspoon snipped fresh chives (optional)
Several dashes cayenne
White or black pepper to taste

Sprinkle gelatin on cold water in small saucepan. Let stand 5 minutes to soften. Then heat water until gelatin melts.

While gelatin softens, puree 1 can salmon with 1 cup yogurt and 1 tablespoon mayonnaise in blender. Transfer puree to large bowl, and repeat the process with remaining salmon, yogurt and mayonnaise. Combine two purees.

When gelatin has completely dissolved, pour it into the salmon puree, add remaining ingredients, and combine thoroughly. Place bowl in refrigerator until mousse is partially set (mixture should form a heap when dropped from a spoon). Lightly grease a 6-cup mold with vegetable oil spray. Pour in the partly gelled mixture. Chill until firm, about 3 hours.

At serving time, unmold mousse by inverting it onto a platter. It should not be necessary to dip mold in hot water, but if it does not unmold, hold in a bowl of lukewarm water for 10 seconds.

See “New Year’s Menu” for more recipes.