An aspic mold is a beautiful, colorful and excellent tasting way to brighten any dinner table.
An aspic mold is a beautiful, colorful and excellent tasting way to brighten any dinner table. This chilled jelly substance can be used to coat foods or can be mixed with them. In most cases it is used with slice meats, fish, poultry, vegetables or pate. It has also been served plain as the first course of a meal.
To begin you will need 4 cups of cold well seasoned fish, poultry, meat or vegetable broth. Skim away all the fat and pour 1\2 of the liquid into a 3 quart sauce pan. To this you should add 2 tablespoons of unflavored gelatin sprinkled across the top of your broth. Allow this to stand for 5 minutes until the gelatin has softened. Beat three egg whites until frothy and add them with the remaining broth to the mixture in your pan. Bring this mixture to a boil, stirring continuously, until a dense foam appears. Remove the sauce pan from the heat and allow to cool. Using a cup towel that has been rinsed and rung out until almost dry, line a sieve and pour the aspic liquid through it. Be sure not to use cheesecloth since it is much to porous for straining aspic. All the strained mixture to stand until it is completely clear.
If you plan to encase food in the aspic, you will need to pour 1\8 of the cleared liquid into a shallow dish. Refrigerate this for approximately 30 minutes or until it is firm. Place sliced meats, fish, poultry or vegetables on top of this bottom layer. Any garnishes you wish to use should be placed in this layer as well. Many people use red peppers, parsley, grated carrots or other such colorful vegetables for garnish. Next, pour more of the liquid aspic over the meats, vegetables and garnish until it is about two thirds of the way up on your chosen foods. This layer should be shallow enough that your foods will not float in the liquid. Refrigerate this until the second layer is firm and then completely cover the food with the remaining aspic liquid. Refrigerate this until it is set and you are ready to serve a delicious aspic.
If you prefer to use aspic to make molds of cold foods such as pate or salad, simply coat your mold or chosen dish with a thin film of unflavored oil. Pour in 1\8 inch of the liquid aspic and refrigerate until firm. Using the foods you have chosen, pack them into the mold. Be sure to smooth the tops of the meats and vegetables. Using a blunt knife, gently move the vegetables and meat away from the sides of your mold and fill the crevices and the remainder of the mold with aspic. Refrigerate until this is set or firm. When you are ready to serve your molded aspic, run a knife around the edges and dip the mold into hot water for a few seconds. Then cover your mold with a plate and invert it. It is also possible to use aspic as a cold soup for a dinner course. To do this simply refrain from placing the aspic liquid in the refrigerator and allow it to cool to room temperature before serving.