Sunday, January 12, 2014

Monterey Soufflé Salad

contributed by Star-Kist Tuna, ca. 1955
Welcome back!  Thank you for all your kind encouragements during the 12 Days of Kitschmas, and, thank you to my legions of fans who were thoughtful enough to send me this Buzzfeed article listing "21 Truly Upsetting Vintage Recipes." Upsetting?!? Clearly Buzzfeed, whomever that might be, is reflexively reacting to the listed ingredients and not going to the trouble of making and tasting the recipes, like I do for you.  In fact, #21 on their list, which they labeled with a horrified "?????????", has already been made, tasted, and Dr. Husband-approved in the Historic test kitchen!

So, for our inaugural post of 2014, I've made another "horrifying" dish from Buzzfeed's list, #14, Monterey Soufflé Salad. (I've had dozens of requests to do #2, Ham and Bananas Hollandaise...which I will do, but I had the ingredients for Monterey Soufflé Salad in the house, and I'm lazy, so there.)

While assembling the dish, I formulated a theory, the theory being that fish combined with gelatin in delicious, and will please a man's palate. For support, I offer these past dishes, as well as today's offering. (I am willing to admit the possibility that it might be the mayonnaise that gives these recipes the edge, but...)

Here's the recipe, as presented in Star-Kist Tuna promotional materials, circa 1955:
1 pkg lemon-flavored gelatin
1 cup hot water and 1/2 cup cold water
2 tbsps lemon juice
1/2 cup Hellmann’s or Best Foods Real Mayonnaise
1-1/2 can Star-Kist Tuna
3/4 cup chopped cucumber or celery
1/4 cup sliced stuffed olives
2 tbsps chopped pimento
1/2 tsp grated onion

Dissolve gelatin in hot water. Add cold water, lemon juice, real mayonnaise and 1/4 tsp salt. Blend well with rotary beater. Pour into refrigerator freezing tray. Quick chill in freezing unit (without changing control) 15 to 20 minutes, or until firm about 1 inch from edge but soft in center. Turn mixture into bowl and whip with rotary beater until fluffy. Fold in remaining ingredients. Pour in 1-quart mold or individual molds. Chill until firm in refrigerator (not freezing unit) 30 to 60 minutes. Unmold and garnish with salad greens and serve with additional real mayonnaise, if desired. Yield: 4-6 servings.

I did use the name brand tuna and mayonnaise as directed. The only alteration I made was cutting back on the amount of pimiento, as I often find that the flavor overpowers the dish.

Also, it's my first try at whipping partially-chilled gelatin - you'll hear Dr. Husband comment on how light and fluffy the dish is, and that's why! There are lots of extended gelatin techniques I've discovered in old cookbooks, which I'll be sharing this year, so stay tuned.

Anyway, what did we think?

A couple more items of business:

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 Our Rating: One Screaming Husband!
(all dishes are rated from one to five Screaming Husbands. One Screaming Husband equals a happy home where all problems are solved during cocktail hour. Five Screaming Husbands signals the beginning of divorce proceedings.)

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