For our 50th anniversary, we collated a series of RV recipes from the Cooking Ladies. 

This article appeared in volume 40-3 – our 40th Anniversary RV Buyer’s Guide edition.

Cilantro Mousse


  • 2 cups (500 mL) trimmed fresh cilantro
    leaves, lightly packed
  • 1 small Serrano chile pepper
  • 1 medium clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) hot water
  • 1 packet gelatin
  • 1 teaspoon chicken broth
  • 15 ounce (443 mL) small jar of real
  • cooking spray

Makes 10 to 12 servings


  1. Finely chop the cilantro leaves with a knife or in a food processor. Set aside.
  2. Finely chop the Serrano chili pepper. Set aside.
  3. Finely chop the garlic. Set aside.
  4. Pour hot water into a bowl or measuring cup. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water. Stir until the gelatin completely dissolves. Stir in the chicken broth. Set the mixture in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to cool but not set.
  5. Place the mayonnaise in a bowl. Add the cilantro, chili pepper, and garlic to the bowl.
  6. Stir in the gelatin and thoroughly mix the ingredients.
  7. For individual servings: Lightly spray decorative muffin tins with cooking spray. 
  8. Pour the cilantro mixture to fill each muffin cup. Place in the refrigerator to set. Serve on individual plates with crackers.
  9. For a group serving: Pour the mixture into a mold lightly sprayed with cooking oil.
  10. For a quicker and smoother version of the mousse, combine the cilantro leaves, chili pepper, garlic, and mayonnaise in a food processor. Process until smooth. Dissolve the gelatin as above and add it to the mixture. Process again.

A Winning Recipe

The NBC affiliate in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas held a Best Amateur Chef contest and we were invited to be judges.

Each week, contestants arrived at the test kitchen with their knives, recipes and bins of spices. They chopped, diced, and sliced vegetables. They trimmed, pounded, grilled, and fried meat. Fruit and greenery sat ready to garnish finished plates. Heat rose in the kitchen as pots boiled and ovens preheated. The television host added to the tension by interviewing the cooks throughout their allotted cooking time. This may be what led to not enough salt in some dishes, too much in others, a red wine reduction that was too reduced, and a vegetable that turned itself into a dessert.

The winners from the first three weeks were invited back to compete for the title. The final week was the most exciting as the chosen cooks gambled on what would win us over. One contestant thought the answer was to provide an ordinary entrée with a fancy name, another chose to hold back on spices supposedly taking our northern palates into consideration. The third opted for Texas “big” with over-sized portions spread out across a gigantic plate.The fourth contender saved the day with her version of the following recipe. Ten out of 10 for the pastel-green mousse centred on a simple, white, square plate, garnished with sprigs of fresh cilantro. The moment we dipped our forks into the mousse, the delicate flavour of the cilantro with a little hint of heat from the Serrano pepper melted in our mouths. 

The contest was over. 

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