Shrimp Mousse – With A Twist
This is one of my very favorite party foods. All Southerners have enjoyed this popular dish, omnipresent at every picnic, tailgate party, and backyard barbeque. My second mom has been making this for us ever since I can remember, and she calls it Shrimp Paté. In the Deep South, it is commonly called Shrimp Mold – with that delightfully drawn O that to me sounds more like “mawled.” However you call it, it is absolutely delicious!
The twist is the addition of Old Bay seasoning: Chesapeake Bay Blue Crabs are always boiled in it, and it’s a key ingredient in Maryland Crab Cakes. Being from Maryland, I thought to add it to this otherwise untampered-with recipe, and I like how it complements the flavor of the shrimp.
- 1 can condensed tomato soup
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 2 tablespoons (3 packets) unflavored gelatin, dissolved in ¼ cup water (it is important that the gelatin “bloom,” or firm up in the water, to ensure the mixture will set properly)
- 1 1/2 pound cooked shrimp — peeled and minced
- 1 cup mayonnaise, regular or light, I use Hellmann’s/Best Foods brand
- 3/4 cup celery — finely chopped
- 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped (I prefer using the more mild white onion, but you can also use yellow or sweet onion for a more pronounced flavor)
- 1/2 cup green pepper — finely chopped (optional, I usually omit and + celery)
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
Prepare a 6 cup mold by oiling lightly with vegetable oil. Place several ice cubes in the mold and add enough water to fill to the top. Set aside to chill while finishing recipe.
Heat tomato soup and cream cheese in top of double boiler (I improvise by placing a bowl atop a pot of water) until the cheese melts, mix with wire whisk. Cool slightly. Stir in gelatin and mix with whisk for smooth consistency. Add mayonnaise, Worcestershire, Old Bay and lemon juice and mix with whisk. Add shrimp, celery, onion, and optional green pepper – mix well.
Pour water and ice from the mold, shaking once or twice to remove excess moisture, pour the mousse mixture into the prepared mold. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Unmold and garnish with watercress, fresh dill, or any leafy greens. Serve with Ritz crackers (regular or reduced sodium).
TIPS: Do NOT cover it with foil at any time. A reaction of the foil and the tomato soup causes holes to form in the foil.
Also, if it will be sitting out for any length of time, you can unmold the mousse directly onto a metal platter that is then placed atop another metal pan filled with ice, to help keep it cool.