Salmon and Rice Mold

For generations in the South, rice has often been used instead of bread crumbs to bind all sorts of chopped, flaked, and minced savory concoctions, one reason being that the grain not only tightens a mixture better but contributes a good deal more to its texture than does innocuous bread. This particular dish is the type of elegant mold you find on large, elaborate spring or summer dinner buffets. It can be served either as is or with a chilled light tomato sauce or sour cream and dill mayonnaise on the side. You can also use this same recipe to produce a light, stylish luncheon “soufflé” by simply whisking the egg whites separately and folding them into the combined mixture before baking it in a soufflé dish.

Ingredients

  • Mild paprika
  • 3 cups canned salmon, drained, picked over for skin and bones, and flaked
  • 3 cups cooked rice of your choice
  • cup milk
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup finely chopped green olives stuffed with pimentos
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Thinly sliced cucumbers, for garnish

Method

Preheat the oven to 475°F. Grease a large fish mold with butter, sprinkle the bottom and sides with paprika, and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the remaining ingredients except the cucumbers and, using your hands, mix till well blended. Scrape the mixture into the prepared mold and bake till firm, about 45 minutes. Transfer the mold to a wire rack, drain off any liquid, let cool completely, cover with plastic wrap, and chill for at least 2 hours.

To serve, invert the mold onto a large serving platter, sweep the paprika with a spoon to make fin designs, garnish the edges with cucumbers, and serve in thick slices.