Ibiza in New Haven Closes; Enjoy Its Cream Cheese Mousse at Home
Mara Lavitt/New Haven Register
Editor's note: Ibiza, the beloved Spanish restaurant in New Haven, has closed, which Stephen Fries, a professor and coordinator of the Hospitality Management Programs at Gateway Community College, announces in his latest column for the New Haven Register, which is excerpted here. Ibiza's website says the Ibiza Tapas Wine Bar in Hamden remains open. In her Hartford Courant Java column, MaryEllen Fillo says the Ibiza owners are getting divorced.
Here is the portion of Fries' column about Ibiza and its Cream Cheese Mousse.Found: Kathy Rocklin of North Haven wrote, “I was on your holiday culinary walking tour, and the Cream Cheese Mousse served at Ibiza, (39 High St., New Haven) was delicious. I would like to replace the cheesecake that I make with this. I know my family will love it!” Food writer Jane Stern was also on this tour, and she, too, asked for this recipe. (Above, Chef Romero makes one mixture for his Cream Cheese Mousse on the stove.)
I was saddened to hear that Ibiza, New Haven, closed last week. Juan Carlos and Maria Gonzalez and Executive Chef Manuel Romero, you will be missed; hopefully only temporarily, as you take a well deserved break and prepare for a new venture. The 50-plus comments on Facebook said it all about the love of your restaurant.
* “One of the best Spanish restaurants in America for over a decade right here in small city New Haven — inventive food and impeccable service. Will be missed!”
* “Sad to see a beloved by so many restaurant shuttered ...”
* “So I guess if I want good Spanish cuisine ... I have to fly to Spain, because nothing in CT comes close to Ibiza of New Haven.”
* “Easily the best restaurant in New Haven, a part of New Haven’s culture and DNA. Thank you for delicious food, creativity and dedication. Please let us all know if you re-open somewhere else.”
For now, Kathy and Jane, you’ll have to make this dessert at home, courtesy of the executive chef.
Cream Cheese Mousse
½ cup milk
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise to expose seeds
½ cup sugar
6 egg yolks
16 ounces cream cheese
¼ cup cold water
1 envelope Knox unflavored gelatin
1 cup heavy cream
Pineapple-Vanilla Sauce, recipe below
Place milk and vanilla bean in a saucepan and bring to boil. Shut off heat and let vanilla infuse for 5 minutes. Remove bean. In a bowl, whisk sugar and egg yolks for about 2 minutes. While whisking, very slowly pour milk into egg mixture. Put this mixture in saucepan and cook at low heat for about 1 minute, while continuing to whisk. Add cream cheese and whisk until cream cheese is blended. In a small glass, put ¼ cup cold water and mix in the gelatin, making sure it dissolves, then add it to cheese mixture. Put mixture in blender and blend. Let cool to room temperature.
Put heavy cream into a cold bowl and whip until whipped cream is formed. Pour cheese mixture over and gently fold whipped cream into cheese mixture.
Line a 3-inch-high, 9- by 5-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap. Pour mixture into pan and refrigerate for 3 hours. Place a serving plate face down on pan and flip so the mousse sits on the plate. Peel off plastic wrap.
Cut into squares and drizzle plate with Pineapple-Vanilla Sauce. Serve with fresh berries and garnish with mint leaves. Sprinkle with crushed almond cookies. Serves 6-8.
Pineapple-Vanilla Sauce: Puree 12 ounces pineapple in a blender to liquefy. Put puree, 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise to expose seeds, and 1/8 cup sugar in a small saucepan. Heat to boil and turn off heat. Let cool. Remove bean and pour into squeeze bottle.
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