Yeah, well, about that (French Fridays with Dorie: (Not) Arman’s Caviar in Aspic...)

I need to come clean.

Throughout this French Fridays with Dorie project, there is a part of me that totally looks forward to those weeks when "challenging" recipes are on the market.

I don't look forward to them because I am interested in trying them out (chances are, I am trying to figure out a way to change up the recipe), but because I know that there are enough troupers in the group that WILL make the recipe the right way and they will be pretty darned blunt as to how they feel about. Equally as entertaining are the rogue few who actually like said recipe.

Chicken livers.

Salmon in a jar.

Sardine anything.

That soup with the cellophane noodles.

Anything with aspic.

Yup, we've had our highs and lows over this four year journey. One thing I've learned is that I will try almost anything at least once, but at times I need to just listen to my instincts and go my own way.

This was one of those weeks.

The recipe on the docket was "caviar in aspic". Gelatin. Fish Bouillon. Caviar.

I still have occasional night terrors from the jello salads that were so popular in my childhood. They were usually something green (or red or orange) and jiggly - enscasing chunks of canned fruit and marshmallows. I spent a lot of energy eating the jello part and avoiding whatever it was that the jello was trying to hide (I half expected whatever was in there to pop out of the bowels of the gelatin mold - kind of like that scene in Alien...just saying.)

There was no way in Mars that this one was going to fly in casa Cher. I knew I was going to have to go rogue - no apologies. (This recipe was about the technique, right?)

So for the half recipe I planned on making, I nixed the fish bouillon. Traded the water for 2/3 cups of leftover champagne and 1/3 cup pomegranate cranberry juice and substituted pomegranate seeds for the caviar. But other than that, I followed the directions.

That counts for something, doesn't it?

I was slight unsure if it would set up properly, but a few hours later I had the jiggly block of stuff that I was looking for.

Mission accomplished.

Gratuitous picture of Runner Girl pretending to chew on a mini-
loaf pan.
Now, I have nothing against fish stock or caviar. They each have their own place - just not in gelatin.

Peace out.


This post participates in French Fridays with Dorie.


  1. Pomegranate and cranberry juice + champagne - now that's my kind of jello.

  2. Very nicely done, Cher! Your gelatin looks lovely, and I love your combination of flavors!There was no way that fishy gelatin would fly in my house either! I’m usually the one who will try just about anything, but I do draw the line when it comes to some fishy things…like any raw fish, and fishy gelatin! I also went rogue with this one, and loved the result! Happy
    Friday Cher!!

  3. I hate jello. Always have, always will. I'm supposed to be a little more open minded. Cheers to you, Cher. (What's the matter with chicken livers?!?)

  4. Mmmmm, pomegranate and champagne sounds great and I love that jewel-tone red on your gelatin! I don't blame you one bit for not making the other recipe. Not one bit.

  5. "That soup with the cellophane noodles." Oh god, remember that? SO WEIRD. You and me, we're all about technique, right?

  6. Is this super classy jello? I love it :D
    And the colour is calling me!

    Choc Chip Uru

  7. Ick, yuck, plooey! Aspic? Just the word makes my stomach flip over uncomfortably. I am not a fan of gelatin, but I'll take pomegranate with champagne ANY DAY over caviar in fish stock gelatin. Yuck. Good creative thinking, Cher. I would have probably skipped this recipe! Brilliant turn around!

  8. I'll admit that I LOVED salmon in a jar. I might be among few Doristas on that though. And chicken livers and sardines are things I like too. I tried the aspic and I can't say I hated it because I like fish and caviar, but it's just not worth it. Your version looks WAY better.

  9. I made the resolution that if presented the opportunity, I'd rather taste these weird new for me food items in a restaurant first. Then I won't second guess myself on whether I actually made them correctly (and can pass around 'the rest' to any dining companions).

  10. Ohhhhhh, my feelings are soooo hurt. The snack at my house for my girls was always jello, fruit cocktail from a can (I am not kidding), maraschino cherries from a jar (a real treat) and mini-marshmallows. If I went all fancy, I would put half pears from a can in lime jello and stick a maraschino cherry in the center. Not so easy because the cherries sometimes floated away. It wasn't until the my kids were adults that they told me they hated (that's the word they used) my "jello treats". I grew up to be a Food Blogger and Melissa grew up to be a Mom who has made sure that Emma and Clara never, never, never have to endure jello as their treat!

  11. I liked the salmon in a jar and the liver recipes, but my line is apparently firmly drawn at cellophane noodles and aspic. Your version of this week's recipe looks much better than mine!

  12. I couldn't agree with you more. Your substitutions sound and look great. I have visions of Knox Blox in my mind, remember those? My mom used to make those during my childhood.

  13. My night terrors involve liver! I love the direction you took. Sounds delicious! and looks very pretty! As does Runner Girl!

  14. I loved your line, "But other than that, I followed the recipe". One thing I have learned on this FFWD journey is which recipes not to even try getting anyone else to eat. This was one of those. :)


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