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Waste Not!

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I do not like waste. My grandparents were careful, as they had to be back in the thirties, and my father had Scottish blood on both sides of the family, so I didn't stand a chance.

Recently I made some smoked salmon mousse for a party: home-smoked salmon (caught and prepared by a friend), cream cheese, some minced chives and parsley, a bit of sour cream and I had a tasty mousse which I served with rice crackers and a CR Sandidge Viognier, a 37 Cellars Chardonnay, a Ryan Patrick Chardonnay, and a Silvara Vineyards Chardonnay.

I said it was a party: everyone brought wine. All those wines were good accompaniments to the mousse.

Having made two small bowls of the mousse, I had one left in the refrigerator the next day. As we don't sit around and snack except for special occasions, I decided to see how to make this into a meal. I had on hand a package of green and white tortellini from good old Grocery Outlet - thrift again - a small shallot, and frozen baby peas from Costco. Theirs are not brined, which most brands are, and so don't contain undesirable levels of sodium.

While my sous chef prepared the tortellini, I minced the shallot and sauteed it briefly in a small saucepan with a teaspoon of butter. I added a cup of peas and two tablespoons of water, covered the pan and brought to a boil, turning off immediately.

In the microwave, on low, I softened the mousse and added it to the peas and shallot, stirring gently until it was blended. With the stove on low, I warmed the sauce and stirred in 1/3 c. sour cream (all natural, cream and enzymes only. Don't fall for that manufactured stuff which contains a variety of non-cream ingredients.) At the end I added a dash of cayenne pepper and a few curls of fresh lemon zest.

As it was still a little thick, I added a couple of tablespoons of milk. The tortellini was done, and in a warmed bowl. I poured the sauce over it and blended it carefully, topping it with freshly minced chives and some small pieces of smoked salmon which I had left from making the mousse.

This made dinner for two and lunch the next day. And it was delicious with a Jones of Washington 2008 Chardonnay. Victor Palencio is one very good winemaker!