By SIMON WEBSTER
I know you’ve probably all heard of the timbale drum but did you know that this is also the name for ramekin? These small porcelain molds that are used for soufflés, mousses or custards are called a timbale in many countries and that is what I grew up calling them.
It is also what I use for making one of my favorite things – something that is easy to make but is always impressive for dinner guests. It is a mixed seafood timbale that once you try will want to have again and again. It is the perfect appetizer course that always pleases. It looks beautiful and tastes delicious.
You can use a lot of things in the mixture, but in this version I combined cod, crab and shrimp with some cream, parsley and other seasoning. Another great thing about this dish is that you can make it the morning of your party and simply put it in the oven right before your guests arrive.
This weekend I served it on top of a polenta cake but you could do other things like a bed of mixed greens or a potato cake. Top it with a light lemon cream sauce or add some spice with a roasted red pepper chili sauce.
MIXED SEAFOOD TIMBALE
2 eight ounce cod fillets
4 ounces crabmeat
1 egg white
Salt and pepper to taste
2 teaspoons lemon juice
8 large shrimp, uncooked
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Peel shrimp and leave the tails on four of them and set aside. Place the other four shrimp and the cod in a food processor and pulse to a rough paste. Add the cream and pulse until combined. Add the crab, lemon juice, salt, pepper, parsley and egg white and pulse until combined. Butter the inside of four ramekins that are two ounce in size. Fill the ramekins with the fish mixture and press a shrimp into the top of each one. Place ramekins in a baking dish and fill the dish half way up with hot water. Cook in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes or until firm. After the ramekins have a chance to cool, using clean hands turn the ramekin over in one hand and carefully slide out the fish. Place on a plate on top of grilled polenta cake, potato cake or salad greens.
Simon Webster is the Executive Chef of Sabor a Pasion Country House & Bistro a multi-faceted dining destination just outside Palestine. For more information go to www.saborapasion.com or call 903-729-9500.