Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Cake Walk

You know all those posts about fritters that GSNW contributor Jim Dixon has been writing the last few months, the ones made from good things like squash and corn, dandelion greens and sardines? And remember those crazy-like-a-fox crab cakes from Mark Bittman that I posted back in December as part of the Crustacean Celebration? Another name for them would be…fish fritters! I actually did a Homer Simpson "D'oh!" at the thought.

So when I found some leftover grilled sockeye salmon sitting in the fridge just waiting to be put to it's best and highest use, my first thought was, yes, fritters! Checking out a few recipes, it looked like I had enough for a batch without resorting to excessive fillers that would compromise its lovely smoky flavor.

Next to a shrimp Louis, fritters are the perfect summer meal. They cook quickly without heating up the kitchen and they're rock star good. All you have to do is mash up leftovers with some sautéed veggies, breadcrumbs and eggs, fry them quickly in hot oil and serve with a cool, refreshing salad. So simple and delightful! And they'd make a fabulous appetizer for your next barbecue…just be sure to make them small and make a lot. You might even want to set a couple aside as you cook them so you can have some for yourself, cause they'll go fast.

Salmon Cakes
Adapted from various recipes

3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 ribs celergy, finely chopped
1/2 c. red Italian bell pepper or other sweet pepper like Jimmy Nardello
1 lb. leftover cooked salmon or 3 6-oz. cans salmon, well drained
1 c. bread crumbs
2 large eggs
2 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
1-2 tsp. hot sauce like Sriracha or Tabasco
1/2 tsp. Worchestershire sauce
1/2 c. mayonnaise (not salad dressing)
2 tsp. Dijon
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in frying pan. When it shimmers, add onion and garlic and sauté till translucent. Add celery and chopped pepper and sauté till tender. Cool while you pick the bones out of the salmon.
Put salmon in mixing bowl with bread crumbs, eggs, Old Bay, Worchestershire sauce, mayonnaise and mustard. Add cooled vegetables and stir to combine. Form into 2-3" wide, 1/2" thick cakes and place on cookie sheet. Put in refrigerator and chill 30 minutes. Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in skillet until shimmering, then fry cakes a few at a time until browned, adding fresh oil as needed. Keep in warm oven until they're all finished cooking and serve.


Drew said...

Made my own version tonight for dinner. They're one of life's simple pleasures, a leftover from a few decades ago when folks used to make them out of (gasp!) canned salmon.

Kathleen Bauer said...

Though it sounds blasphemous, I grew up on canned salmon. It was most likely due to the fact that we lived in (then) primitive Central Oregon and fresh wasn't available (or it was too expensive for my very frugal mother). Fresh is infinitely better!