The one dish from the Christmas Buffet we produced that took any "cooking", as opposed to simply assembly, was the Smoked Salmon Mousse.
However, it was so simple to make that I hesitate to call it "cooking". More a case of understanding balance of flavours, plus the ability to operate a food processor!
I dithered (for an astonishing length of time) over whether to include cream cheese as well as the double cream - and then wound up using them both, but in smaller quantities. I figured that they both had a part to play in the texture and flavour of the mousse - and I was right.
As for the horseradish, even if you are not a horseradish fan, do include it. It isn't obvious - and adds that little bit of tang that it is apparent isn't lemon juice, but you can't quite work out what it is.
Between the fish itself, the horseradish, the lemon juice and the dill, this is a mousse of extraordinary dimensions - so take care as to what you serve it on. It can cope with being served on something like the rye bread we used, as the bread has a flavour that is very different to that of the mousse. However, served on something like a Blini, I can't help but think that the overpowering flavour would become cream.
I know that the supermarkets are selling small packs of smoked salmon offcuts - Asda do one for 90p - which would be just perfect for this mousse. After all, there's no need to chop up a perfectly lovely piece of smoked salmon!
The recipe below makes double the amount seen in the ramekin above. I only made half because I was just using it for canapés and didn't want any left over, but it just goes to show how easy it is to make the amount that you are going to require - which is incredibly useful if you've spent a lot on a little!
Thank you to Knorr for supplying us with the majority of the ingredients for this dish.
SMOKED SALMON MOUSSE
120g smoked salmon
2-3 tbsp double cream
1½ tbsp cream cheese
½ a tsp of creamed horseradish
½ a lemon, juiced
fresh Dill, to taste.
1. In a mini food processor, or a bowl suitable for using a hand blender, place the smoked salmon and whizz to chop into small pieces.
2. Add the cream, cream cheese and horseradish, then slightly less than the stated amounts of lemon juice and dill. Whizz to combine, and taste. Add more cream, lemon juice or dill as required and whizz & taste until it suits your palate and the desired consistency is reached.
3. Decant into a bowl, ready for use.