Make Ahead

Retrocado Aspic with Mango and Shrimp

June 18, 2012
0 Ratings
  • Makes 10 slices
Author Notes

Thank you, Food52! I don't think this cold terrine would ever have come out of my kitchen without your avocado challenge...I adore avocado and wanted to highlight its green creaminess and pay to tribute to classic avocado Ritz as well as the wonderful wobbliness of 60's and 70's gelatin mousses...Then I remembered a summer fruits terrine I used to make, set in jelly. And so this avocado, mango and shrimp aspic evolved, with a hint of SE Asia and a kick of spice. Perfect picnic food, buffet offering, and cool starter to summer supper.

The mango and shrimp pieces should be small enough to be incorporated within a slice. If they are larger, it becomes hard to cut neatly. The avocado can be larger, as it is easy to slice through.

You can use leftover shrimp from a barbecue or cocktail, or start from scratch, following the first part of this recipe. To turn it vegan, substitute carrageenan or agar-agar for gelatin and omit the shrimp.

(And you need about 6-7 limes for this recipe...)
Marie Viljoen

What You'll Need
  • Marinating and Cooking the Shrimp
  • 12 medium shrimp tails
  • 1/3 cup cilantro stems, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 4 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon jalapeno chile, finely chopped
  • The Terrine
  • 1 1/2 cups ripe mango, cubed into small pieces (I used 1 large champagne mango)
  • 1/4 cup scallions, white parts, finely sliced
  • 4 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 10 twists of black pepper
  • 3 cups ripe avocado, quartered and then sliced into chunks (I used 2 avocados)
  • 1/4 cup scallions, green and white parts, sliced very thinly
  • 2 teaspoons jalapeno, sliced paper thinly into rounds, seeds included
  • 6 mint leaves, torn up
  • 2/3 cup very hot water
  • 1 packet (1 Tbsp) gelatin
  • 1/3 cup lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  1. Marinating and Cooking the Shrimp
  2. In a bowl, toss cleaned shrimp tails with all the ingredients of the marinade and leave for a minimum of an hour or up to three hours, to marinate.
  3. Heat some non scented oil in a pan and pan fry the shrimp till pink. Remove.
  4. Add the marinade ingredients to the pan and reduce till sticky. Pour over the shrimp and allow to cool.
  5. When cool, slice each shrimp tail into 3-4 pieces, about 1/4" at most. Reserve.
  1. The Terrine
  2. For the terrine you need a 1.5 quart size pyrex or ceramic terrine mould.
  3. In a small bowl combine the mango cubes with the 1/4 cup scallions, 4 Tbsps lime juice, salt and pepper and marinate for an hour. After an hour, strain the mango and reserve the marinade.
  4. In a small bowl dissolve the gelatin in the 2/3's cup very hot water. When it has dissolved add the 1/3 cup lime juice, sugar, salt, fish sauce. Also add the reserved liquid from the mango. Allow the mixture to cool a little to tepid.
  5. Add a single layer of avocado, with the pieces just about touching each other - bear in mind this will be the top of your terrine, once it is turned out.
  6. Add a layer of mango cubes.
  7. Sprinkle the scallions and all the mint across in a fine layer.
  8. Add half the shrimp pieces.
  9. Add more avocado and the rest of the mango.
  10. Add the rest of the shrimp.
  11. Add a final avocado layer (which will be the base of the terrine, when turned out).
  12. Now pour the gelatin mixture carefully over the contents of the terrine. It should just cover the top layer of avocado.
  13. Put a sheet of wax proof paper over the top and gently press down if the avocado is a little above the liquid surface. You could weigh it down with a couple of cans, or with dry baking beans.
  14. Refrigerate until set, and up to two days (unscientific guesstimate), covered.
  15. To unmould, slide a warmed knife around and down the edge of the terrine.
  16. Place a board or large flat plate over the terrine and flip, shaking firmly until you hear plop!
  17. If the terrine is stuck for some reason dip its base briefly in a basin of boiling water, and repeat.
  18. To serve, slice with a very sharp small knife, point down, and catch the slices on a spatula or pie lifter.
  19. Garnish with cilantro leaves.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • bugbitten
  • Hilarybee
  • aargersi
  • bonbonmarie
  • Marie Viljoen
    Marie Viljoen

12 Reviews

jenniebgood June 21, 2012
This is so pretty - I've been wondering when aspic is going to have a moment my opinion this should kickstart it!
Marie V. June 21, 2012
Thanks, jenniebgood - I agree that aspics are totally underrated. They are perfect for summer and very adaptable..
bugbitten June 21, 2012
This looks luscious, and a wonderful dish for summer. Please pardon my ignorance, but by saying shrimp tails do you mean the body of the shrimp with the head off, or do you mean just the actual tail fin part of the shrimp, the part you leave over in a shrimp cocktail appetizer? I'm also a bit mixed up about the prep on the shrimp, but I think you're saying you could use cooked shrimp, or do a maceration in the lime juice, instead.

In any event, I think this is very cool. Brava!

Marie V. June 21, 2012
Hi bugbitten - I mean the whole long, meaty tail. Not just the tail fins. They would be a bit crunchy :-)

Anatomically, the tail is where the meat is, the "body" is where the 6 legs (not swimmers) are attached. You don't want the body for this.

Shrimp prep: No , I don't mean just a maceration in lime juice. You cook the shrimp as described in Step 2 of Part One OR you can use leftover, cooked shrimp (which won't have the same kind of flavour, unless you've used the same marinade, but will do just fine. In fact. what I've done, once, is cooked a boatload of shrimp on the BBQ using this marinade, eaten them on day 1 and made sure to leave 12 for this dish on day 2).

Hope that helps.
bugbitten June 21, 2012
Hi, MV, I only know that there are oddities that come up regarding shrimp, crayfish, crawfish, langoustines, etcetera. Seems these delicious critters are never the same nation to nation, and are never talked about in the same way, or prepared in the same way. I guess that semantic problems based on them are just a part of what helps our world go 'round.

Yes, your clarification was a fine help; yes, this looks delish; yes, I'm going to make it, soon. Ancora, brava. A great recipe, and I am also a big fan of 52 owing to just this kind of opportunity for dialogue.
Marie V. June 21, 2012
All this talk about shrimp anatomy makes me want those crawfish you mention. Did you really eat the horse I rode in on? :-) Because I may need it to ride out, again.
Hilarybee June 19, 2012
Amazing! At first glance, I thought it was sweet. But savory is a sexy take on Julia Child, no? I've tried aspic only once and it was a disaster. But this looks good!
Marie V. June 20, 2012
Thanks! What was disastrous about your aspic, Hilarybee?

I'm afraid I don't know Julia's work intimately. I grew up in South Africa and influenced more by England's Elizabeth David :-)

Raymond Blanc and the Roux Bros make sweet jelly terrines, too - I make a summer fruits version (cherries, raspberries). That gave me the idea.
aargersi June 18, 2012
This is so pretty! I have never made an aspic but this may change that!
Marie V. June 18, 2012
Thank you. I hope you make it - it is pretty festive, and widely adaptable :-)
bonbonmarie June 18, 2012
Marie V. June 18, 2012
I thought so, too :-)