Posts tagged ‘salmon dill mousse’

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, 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).

Some comments…

“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.

June 21, 2010 at 1:58 am 3 comments


If you are wondering who your true friends are, they are the ones who will eat jello with anchovies in it for the sake of your blog.

Last weekend, I organized a Jellopalooza luncheon.  I wanted to get through a bunch of these New Joys of Jell-O recipes and a few jello shots, and I wanted some moral support when trying fish, meat, and veggie jellos for the first time.

When I sent out the invitation, I was surprised that 14 out of 15 invitees said they would be willing to come.  I told them in the invite they would be expected to try a few bites of everything, no matter how scary. The only excuse would be dietary restrictions or vegetarianism – but instant vegetarian transformation would not be honored.  So, with a full guest list, I began the planning.

Here’s the menu. All recipes came from The New Joys of Jell-O.

Green Goddess Salad Bowl
Turkey Souffle Salad
Salmon Dill Mousse
Jellied Gazpacho
Crown Jewel Cake
Frosted Mandarin Dessert
Easy Fruit Tarts

Trying to get my guests in the mood to be adventurous, I also decided to make three jello shots from Your Complete Guide to Jello Shots by Aaron Wright.

Rebel Yell Jello Shot
Melon Ball Jello Shot
Bomb Pop Jello Shot

I also made a scorecard where guests could score and comment on each jello creation.

I have to say the preparation was grueling. It required one trip to the party store for some decor and jello shot cups, a trip to Target for a springform pan for the Crown Jewel Cake, a trip to Sur La Table for tart cups, and two trips to the grocery store. I’ve never bought so much jello at once.  I started making jellos on Saturday around 4pm and worked til 1am. Graciously, my neighbor Larisa, one of my brave guests, allowed me to use some of her fridge space.  Multitasking on the jellos kept me on my toes, trying to make a couple at once and then watching over them since they required various degrees of setting (until thickened, until barely thickened, until firm, etc) before the subsequent steps.  I had a bit of a breakdown while making the Salmon Dill Mousse. I almost threw up. More details to come on the entry for that dish.

I had planned to also make a Jellied Salad Nicoise, but after the horrors of making Salmon Dill Mousse, I couldn’t face another fish jello.

On Sunday, I got up at 7am because I had three more jello dishes to make before the noon party.  Guests arrived around noon and were impressed with the table display, but of course, a bit wary.  Everyone tried everything they could, but there was a lot of disgust expressed over the savory jellos. I would tend to agree.  I can understand why Julie Powell struggled over the aspics during her Julie and Julia project. The combination of savory ingredients and sweet jello is just hard to face.  Luckily, the fruity jellos were a hit, as were the jello shots.  We did end up ordering pizza a couple of hours into the party.  Jello isn’t very filling, especially when the main course jellos are so disgusting, you can only handle a couple bites. After the last guests left around 5pm, the dog and I fell into a jello coma.  I was totally wiped out.  Nobody said this project would be easy.

On the scorecards, I asked guests to rate the jellos on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being disgusting and 5 being delicious. The highest rated were the Easy Fruit Tarts (4.6), Frosted Mandarin Dessert (4.1), Crown Jewel Cake (3.7), and Bomb Pop Jello Shot (4.3). The biggest loser was Turkey Souffle (1.4). One look at the photo and you can see why.  Other losers were Green Goddess Salad Bowl (1.8), Salmon Dill Mousse (1.7), and Jellied Gazpacho (2). The Turkey Souffle and Salmon Dill Mousse were big hits with the dogs, though. Someone suggested I may have a future in making dog food.

I was not able to eat any of the leftovers. I couldn’t stop tasting the savory jellos for a couple of days.  I may try another party later this year.  I may need a new guest list as I’m not sure I can inflict this on the same group of friends.  If you would like to volunteer, leave me a comment.  I will discuss the reviews of all the dishes in subsequent entries.

A big thanks to my awesome friends who participated in this historic event! And special thanks to my very supportive boyfriend Dave who actually gave the Turkey Souffle a 4 and said he thinks it would be tasty on a sandwich.

Click here to see all the photos from Jellopalooza

May 29, 2010 at 11:08 pm 1 comment

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