Aspic

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Chicken and eggs in aspic

Aspic is a dish in which ingredients are set into a gelatine made from a meat stock or consommé. It is also known as cabaret.

When cooled, stock made from meat congeals because of the natural gelatin found in the meat. The stock can be clarified with egg whites, and then filled and flavoured just before the aspic sets. Almost any type of food can be set into aspics. Most common are meat pieces, fruits, or vegetables. Aspics are usually served on cold plates so that the gel will not melt before being eaten. A meat jelly that includes cream is called a chaud-froid.

Nearly any type of meat can be used to make the gelatin: pork, beef, veal, chicken, or even fish. The aspic may need additional gelatin in order to set properly. Veal stock provides a great deal of gelatin; in making stock, veal is often included with other meat for that reason. Fish consommés usually have too little natural gelatin, so the fish stock may be double-cooked or supplemented. Since fish gelatin melts at a lower temperature than gelatins of other meats, fish aspic is more delicate and melts more readily in the mouth.

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