📋Chayote Squash Mousse with Mussels
Best served cold. When eating the sweetness of the mussel will be balanced by the acidity of the Cime di Rapa, all softly bounded by the Chayote mousse.
Servings 4 people
Put the gurnard in a small roasting pan with salt and pepper.
Add 1 cup of white wine and 4 cherry tomatoes cut into pieces.
Put the fish in a hot oven at 180 C for 20 minutes.
In the meantime, stir fry a small onion and 3 chopped cherry tomatoes in a large pan to make the fish stock.
Once the gurnard is done transfer it in the stock pan and add 1 spoon of concentrated tomato sauce.
To keep all the flavors of the roasting fish, pour some water in the roasting pan to deglaze it.
Pour the water over the fish and add ½ cup of white wine.
Let it simmer for 20 minutes.
Strain the fumet with a paper cloth and let it cool off completely.
In the meantime peel the Chayotes and cut them in small cubes.
Boil the chayote with 1 tsp of salt for 20 minutes.
Once the Chayote is cooked, drain it and transfer it in a bowl to cool completely.
If you are using cime di rapa
Clean and boil the Cime di Rapa for 10 minutes in a separate pan with a tsp of salt.
When done, drain them and put them in iced water to preserve their nice green colour.
Prepare the mussels
In a frying pan, stir fry 1 sliced clove of garlic.
Put in the mussels and stir fry covered until they are all open.
Stir from times to times
Add 1 cup of white wine and let it simmer for 1 minute until it evaporates
When they are ready, remove the mussel but keep the water.
Strain the water through a paper cloth and let it rest so that any residual of sand will fall at the bottom.
The water from the mussels is naturally salted and will be used instead of salt to season the Chayote mousse.
Clean the mussels and put them aside.
Creating a balanced flavour
Now mix the fish fumet, the water from the mussels and the Chayote to make the mousse. It is important to mix the right quantity to balance taste and consistency.
To start add ½ cup of mussels water and 1/3 of fish fumet to the Chayote and blend.
Taste and add more fish fumet or mussels water accordingly until you reach the desired taste and texture.
Pour the mousse in the serving bowl and add 4 mussels and 4 Cime di Rapa per plate to garnish.
Tips to make this Chayote squash recipe
Tips for the chayote
- Chayote is just a zucchini squash with one big seed in the centre. You can substitute it with other zucchini but you may not get the same consistency of the mousse
- The chayote has needles in their skin, make sure they have been removed before you touch them. They usually do this at the supermarket
- You can easily grow chayote in a climate similar to the Mediterranean, but they need a lot of water
- You can use chayote squash as a base for any no-carb soup you want to make!
Tips for the fish fumet
- The difference between a general stock and a fumet is that the main ingredient is first roasted or stir-fried. The flavour of the fumet is more intense than a general stock, and in this recipe works perfectly.
- If you want to take a short cut you can use fish stock.
- To make the fumet you can buy a small fish, here I use gurnards. Don't worry about the fish bones, we will just use the stock, not the meat from the fish.
- Keep strictly to the cooking time, seafood should never be overcooked as it will get tough and develop a bitter flavour.
- You can make the fumet ahead of time and either keep in the fridge for 1 day or freeze it.
Tips for the mussels
Here is how to make sure fresh mussels are alive:
- Mussels can be a dangerous source of seafood poisoning if not chosen correctly.
- Buy them only at your trusted fishmonger and ask them to clean them
- Try to avoid them during the hot season
- Fresh mussels should be cooked alive, once dead they will be infected.
- Fresh mussels should always be closed and cannot be open no matter how hard you try
- Discharge any open or broken mussels
- Rinse them under running water one by one and throw away any open or broken mussels
- If they are open but when you touch them they close and will not open if you try, they are fine to eat.
- Fresh mussels are naturally salted, you do not need to add any salt
- When cooking the mussels, keep the pan covered and turn them every once in a while to make sure they will all open
- Once open the mussels are cooked
- Do not overcook the mussels, 2 to 3 minutes are enough. If some mussels are still not open remove the opened one and cook only the closed ones.
- Any mussels that remain closed even after cooking it should be discharged
- Remove any broken open mussels after you have cooked them, but do not worry if you find some once you finished cooking them. The rest of the mussels will not be infected.
Tips for putting it all together
- The water from the mussels is naturally salted. Taste and add more fish fumet or mussels water accordingly until you reach your desired taste and texture
Calories: 185kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 208mg | Potassium: 515mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 245IU | Vitamin C: 19.6mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 3.2mg