When Ellen Kassoff met Virginia native Todd Gray twenty years ago, she really turned the chef on — to her Jewish culinary traditions.
The cookbook is divided into seasons, and each recipe is labeled meat, dairy, parve (no meat or dairy), or mixed. Dishes are sophisticated enough to grace their power spot, but easy enough for you to make at home.
Serve this entree at Sunday brunch, seder, or both.
Poached Salmon Mousse with Cucumber Salad
2 lb. salmon fillets, skin removed and cut into 2-inch chunks
4 egg whites (from lg. eggs)
2 c. heavy cream
2 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. freshly grated lemon zest
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 325°.
2. Puree salmon and egg whites in a food processor. Add cream and pulse to incorporate but do not overmix.
3. Transfer salmon mixture to a medium bowl and fold in salt, lemon zest, and pepper.
4. Butter an 8-by-4-inch terrine mold or a 6-inch square baking dish. Spoon mousse into dish and cover with foil.
5. Create a water bath by placing the mold or dish in a baking dish larger than it and pouring water into the larger pan to halfway up the sides of the smaller dish.
6. Move to middle rack of oven and cook until a fork or skewer inserted into the middle of the mousse comes out clean (about 45 minutes for the terrine mold or 30 minutes for the square dish).
7. Remove from oven and lift mousse out of the water bath and transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly. Run a paring knife around inside of the mold to loosen mousse and then carefully invert it onto a plate.
8. Serve warm, thinly sliced, and topped with cucumber salad (recipe below).
Makes two cups
2 md. cucumbers
½ red onion, thinly sliced
1 tbsp. fresh dill, chopped
½ c. plus 2 tbsp. olive oil
¼ c. freshly squeezed lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
1. While mousse cooks, prepare cucumber salad. Peel cucumbers; cut each in half lengthwise and then into thin slices.
2. Whisk together olive oil and lemon juice in a medium bowl.
3. Add cucumber, onion slices, and dill, and toss to mix. Season with salt and pepper.
The New Jewish Table cookbook is available at amazon.com, $23.
Photo: Renee Comet