edible adventures from the centre of the universe

04 August 2006

Recipe for Disaster: Ham Mousse

There are few food items that turn my stomach as intensely as meat jello. I'm not sure why it became chic in the mid-twentieth century to combine meat and gelatin, but vintage cookbooks tend to include recipes for an alarming number of chicken- beef- and ham-based jello molds. Aside from the fact that these abominations are textural nightmares, their unnatural shapes and glossy sheens tend to invoke images of a future without hope -- a post-apocalyptic wasteland where all food comes processed, reconstituted, and pre-formed. A world where "Vegetables," "Fresh," and "Organic" have been erased from the vocabulary, newspeak-style.

I don't know about you, but I refuse to allow the Ministry of Love to force ham mousse down my throat. In rebellious solidarity, make this recipe and then burn the horrific results. We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness.

Ham Mousse

1 tbsp gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
1.5 cups chicken stock
3 cups ham, chopped
1/4 cup celery, chopped
1 tbsp onion, grated
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sweet-sour pickles, chopped
3 tbsp dill
1/2 tsp white pepper

1. Place gelatin in 1/4 cup water. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil.
2. Chill mixture. When it is almost set, add the rest of the ingredients.
3. Moisten a mold with cold water and add mixture. Chill until firm.

serves 10



Blogger Karen said...

Oh god! Flashbacks...the horrrrrrrrrrrrrror. I have to say that while my family never did the meat/gelatin combo, jello (TM) were the standard at all family celebrations and neighbourhood get togethers. My mom's piece de resistance? Lime jellow with crushed pineapple. *shudder*

8:33 AM

Blogger Karen said...

sorry, I missed the word "moulds" after jello...

8:34 AM

Anonymous Scott said...

Don't forget that gelatin IS meat. It is made by boiling chicken feet or marrow bones to extract the gelatin. This is what makes your soup/potroast better the second day (the formation of gelatin). I agree that sometimes the meat/gelatin molds can be a little freaky, but keep in mind that every time you put soup bones in your soup, you are doing this to extract the gelatin--so it is not the "horror" that most people envision.

1:24 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is a good tip for this recipe, just replace the ham by some jamon iberico de bellota, in case you do not know it this is probably the best ham in the world, it is extremely tasty and healthy (no cholesterol), it comes from a particular breed of swine only found in Spain and Portugal. While it is a bit pricey, the results on the recipe are just amazing. If you want to keep it low budget, buy some Serrano ham which is also great.
I always buy my iberico ham online at Buyjamon.com as it is fresh and delivered to your door.

BuyJamon.com the market place for iberico ham.

11:29 PM


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