Monday, February 28, 2011

Canned Salmon and Rice Casserole

This recipe is adapted from the 1961 edition of "The New Antoinette Pope School Cookbook." I found the combination of bacon and salmon intriguing. The recipe calls for bacon that is "cubed." I used regular bacon and "diced" it with kitchen shears. Next time, I might try pancetta instead of bacon. Most of these ingredients one easily has on hand in the pantry or refrigerator, so it's quite economical.

Served with a fresh salad and vegetable, it is a light meal in itself. But it could just as easily be served as a side to white fish. The recipe is easily doubled.

Use a trusted, name-brand of canned salmon. Others can be overly salty and taste more like tuna than salmon.

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked white rice (I use Uncle Ben's and make it the day before)
  • 1/4 lb. (about four slices) diced bacon
  • 3/4 cup chopped onions
  • 1, 7 1/2 oz. can pink salmon, drained and flaked
  • 1/4 cup minced, curly parsley
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Tabasco Sauce, about 4 drops
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Pepper
  • Fresh, pulled bread crumbs
  • Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Dried dill and lemon wedges for serving

Fry the cubed bacon and chopped onion together in a skillet over medium heat, about five minutes. You do not want to "crisp" the bacon. Add the garlic and stir through just until fragrant--maybe a minute or so. I de-glazed the pan with a bit of dry, white wine.

In a medium bowl, mix the salmon with the rice and parsley. Add the bacon-onion mixture, mixing well with "two forks"--I used my hands. Add salt and pepper to taste, being careful with the salt since both the bacon and the salmon have plenty.

Measure the milk into a small glass and add the egg yolk. Drip in Tabasco and lightly beat with a fork. Pour into salmon mixture and mix thoroughly.

Butter a one-quart casserole and fill with salmon mixture, pressing down slightly. Pour melted butter over pulled breadcrumbs and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese. Mix. Cover top of casserole with breadcrumbs. 

Cover with a lightly-greased piece of tin foil and bake at 375 F degrees for about 40 minutes, removing foil last ten minutes. Serves 2 generously as a main meal, 3-4 as a side.

To serve, sprinkle portions with a bit of dried dill and a lemon wedge on the side. Goes great with fresh asparagus.

NOTES: The original recipe did not call for the addition of an egg yolk or milk, but I found the mixture dry and in need of something to bind it. I wanted to use 1/2 can of cream of celery soup, but with soup prices so high ($1.47 here) I was too cheap to open it.