Salmon Dill Mousse
I think I put off writing about this Jellopalooza recipe because making it and eating it was just such a horrific experience that I had to take 2 weeks off making jello to recover. The fishy smell and taste of the canned salmon mixed with the sweet lemon jello, plus mayo and sour cream – well, it was just an abomination. I’ve had nightmares about it.
It’s just insane that this dish is pictured in the book as part of an all-jello wedding reception in the chapter entitled “Salads for Special Events”. The bride and groom look so happy – they obviously haven’t yet tasted the Salmon Dill Mousse. Says the book, “Lucky is the bride who has her reception prepared by the loving hands of family and friends.” Um, lucky is the bride who gets a caterer!
The recipe calls for lemon jello. Once thickened, you blend in canned salmon, sour cream, mayo, minced onion and dill weed. This is where things got frightening. I had not eaten canned salmon before. I expected it to look like canned tuna. I was not prepared for it to have bones in it. The experience of pulling out the bones, some skin, and what looked like vertabrae (the recipe refers to it as “flaking”) was somehow just repulsive. I’m not the only one who feels this way – I found a thread about it. And here’s a blog entry on cluckandtweet.com, where the resulting fish patties turned out good but the pics of the canned salmon really show the grossness. I borrowed one of the pics to post here.
The fishy smell was overwhelming. I love salmon in restaurants and never find it to be fishy, but this canned salmon was just really pungent. After flaking the canned salmon, I threw it into the jello and added the other ingredients. Blending it was an exercise in trying to hold back nausea. The greasy mayo mixing in with the fish and the jello and sour cream – blech. I had to leave the kitchen for a few minutes and then steel myself to come back and finish. I knew at this point that it was going to be just as disgusting to eat as it was to make. I poured the mix into my fish jello mold and left it overnight.
As the time approached for the party, I wondered if I could actually serve this. It did successfully mold, so I guess that is one positive thing I can say about it. It still smelled fishy, and it looked pre-digested. Knowing my friends had signed on for a difficult mission in attending this party, I put it out on the buffet.
Not surprisingly, people were repulsed by it, and it scored 1.7 (on a scale of 1-5). It was the second-to-lowest rated dish, after Turkey Souffle (1.4).
“I slightly like this better than turkey. On a cracker, it would be almost like regular mousse” – Ivanna
“Oh my god! Destroy this recipe NOW!! It’s like I found a fish by the side of a river.” – John
“Great on a sandwich” – Dave, who gave it a 4.*
“Vile, and I love salmon and dill.” – Kat
“Wrong. Just wrong” – Aaron
“Shouldn’t be cold. I would eat it if I was stranded on a desert island” – Mary
“Awful smell and taste was not great” – Brian
“Sweet and meat – especially jello dishes – just doesn’t work.” – Darlene
On a positive note, my dog Edgar loved it. He lapped it right up. I saved the leftovers to give him but found myself unable to open the tupperware for fear of the smell wafting back up my nostrils. So it sat in the fridge for a couple days while I tried to work up the courage, and then I just threw the whole thing out. Sorry, Edgar, but this Salmon Dill Mousse was just too much for me.
*Dave is my boyfriend, and he’s the only person who praised this one and the turkey souffle. He’s sweet, but I think you should take the boyfriend factor into account when evaluating his comment.