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Prawn and Asparagus Mousse

ingredients

serves 6
1 1/4 cup (1/2 pint) 300 ml milk
slices of carrot and onion
1 bay leaf
6 peppercorns blade of mace
2 tbsp (25 g) butter
2 level tbsp plain flour (All purpose)
15 ml (3 level tsp) gelatine
15 oz (425 g) 15 oz can green asparagus
1/2 level tsp (2.5 ml) salt
freshly ground pepper
75 ml (5 tbsp) fresh double cream (heavy cream)
200 g (7 oz) can peeled prawns
2 egg whites

method

1. For bechamel sauce, bring milk, carrot, onion, bay leaf, peppercorns and mace nearly to the boil. Leave off the heat to infuse for 10 minutes. Melt the butter in a saucepan, stir in the flour and cook gently for 1 minute, stirring. Remove pan from the heat and gradually stir in the strained flavoured milk. Bring to the boil slowly and continue to cook, stirring, until the sauce thickens.

2. Sprinkle gelatine over 45 ml (3 tbsp) water in a small bowl and leave to soak. When swelled up, beat into the hot sauce, stir to dissolve. Turn into a basin, cover closely and allow to cool but not set.

3. Reserve a few pieces of asparagus for garnish. Puree the rest in a blender with the sauce. Season.

4. Lightly whip the fresh cream. Fold into the pureed mixture with the prawns (reserving 6 to garnish) and whisked egg white. Turn into individual dishes and refrigerate to set. Garnish with the reserved prawns and asparagus.

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