Showing posts with label salmon cakes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label salmon cakes. Show all posts

Friday, June 1, 2012


by Sheila Connolly

A few weeks ago, some of us bloggers here were lucky enough to hold a joint signing at a wonder cookbook store called Salt and Pepper Books in Occoquan, Virginia.  Talk about heaven!  An entire store filled with delightful kitchen gadgets (like I don't have enough already) AND books, including our food-themed books.  Not only that, people came to buy our books!  This is exactly what a signing should be like.

Of course I bought several things, including two Irish-themed cookbooks written by Margaret M. Johnson.  I can't tell you how excited I am about them.

Irish cooking has long had a bad rep—potatoes, watery stews, cabbage, and potatoes.  It's understandable, because for a very long time, the Irish peasants (the majority of the country) lived on potatoes, cabbage, and milk or butter.  Every day.  In fact, it is a nutritionally balanced meal, and it kept those peasants going—until the famine in the 1850s, when the potatoes died.  No potatoes meant no food, which meant people died in large numbers or left the country forever.

Sorry for that depressing bit of Irish history. What I want to say is that Irish cooking has most definitely moved beyond the potato, and there's some great stuff coming out of small restaurants and even pubs there these days.  I started leafing through one of Johnson's books, The Irish Pub Cookbook (2006), and immediately grabbed for my sticky pad so I could mark recipes.  And then wrote her a fan email. After all, my coming County Cork Mysteries are set in a small pub in Ireland (but my heroine is going to have to learn to cook!).

This was the first recipe that caught my eye, only because it was near the front of the book—there were plenty more, but I'm saving those for another day.  For us here in New England, the outdoor grilling season is a little unpredictable, so maybe this is a farewell to non-summer fare.

SALMON CAKES WITH DILL SAUCE (from The Irish Pub Cookbook, with a few small tweaks)
1 lb. salmon filets, poached until flaky (do not overcook or mash up)
2 Tblsp minced fresh chives (the only thing growing in my garden)
1 tsp minced or grated fresh ginger
1/3 cup mayonnaise
Salt and pepper to taste
2 large eggs
½ cup milk
All purpose flour for dredging
Bread crumbs for dredging

Flake the salmon into a medium bowl and stir in chives, ginger and mayonnaise.  Season with salt and pepper.

Shape the mixture into four 3" cakes (I made more because there were three of us).  In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk.  Put the flour and breadcrumbs in two shallow dishes or flat pie pans.  Dip each cake in flour, then egg wash, then bread crumbs.  Refrigerate for one hour (so they'll hold together when you cook them!).

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil.  Fry the salmon cakes for 3 minutes on each side, or until golden.

DILL SAUCE (optional)
1 Tblsp unsalted butter (Irish if you've got it, of course!)
1/3 cup minced shallots
1½ cups fish stock or bottled clam juice
¾ cup heavy cream
Freshly ground pepper
2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped (Fresh is best, but you may use canned.  If you do, drain the tomatoes before adding to the sauce.)
1 Tblsp minced fresh dill

In a small skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and cook the shallots until softened but not brown.  Add the fish stock or clam juice and cook for 5-8 minutes until reduced by half.  Add the cream and cook for 3-5 minutes.  Season with pepper.  Strain the sauce (if you want), then return it to the pan and stir in tomatoes and dill.

You may substitute white wine for part of the fish stock. If you do, add it before the fish stock and cook for a few minutes to let the alcohol evaporate.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

So Simple Salmon Patties

Wahoo! Congratulations to our own Julie Hyzy for winning the Anthony and Barry Awards for her book, THE STATE OF THE ONION! We're absolutely delighted for you, Julie!

Over the years, my mother and I have tried loads of different recipes for salmon patties. We've used potatoes, rice, onions, garlic, Worcestershire Sauce, lemon juice, bread crumbs, and, well, the list goes on and on. But have you ever noticed that the yummiest crabcakes have the least ingredients in them? Turns out the same is true for salmon patties. I love this recipe because it's crispy on the outside, soft inside, and so delicious. Plus, it's easy to make. No chopping, no crumbs, no fuss -- and ingredients that you probably have in your kitchen right now. It's a quick and easy lunch or dinner.

I use canned salmon to make this. My preference is for pink salmon, but you can use red salmon if you prefer. Pink salmon has a little bit less omega-3 in it (the reason we're all eating salmon) than red salmon, however, as a result, pink salmon has a less fishy taste. If you're making these for kids or fussy I-hate-salmon types, make it with pink salmon.

You'll notice that the recipe doesn't specify how much olive oil to use. That's because it depends on the size of your pan. You do need to use more oil than you would for a simple saute, maybe an 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch, but not as much as you would for deep frying. The key is to heat the oil before adding the patties. A good test is to add a drop of water. If it sizzles, the oil is usually hot enough. I like to look at the oil. It shimmies a little bit around the edges of the pan when it's hot. But don't overheat! I start just below medium heat and turn it to medium low once the patties and oil are sizzling.

So Simple Salmon Patties

1 14 3/4 ounce can salmon

2 slices bread torn into one inch-ish pieces (not toasted)

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon paprika

olive oil

1. Place all ingredients in a bowl, mix together by hand,
and shape into patties.

2. Heat the oil over medium to medium low heat.

3. Add the patties. Watch to be sure they don't burn. Cook 4-5 minutes on each side.

Serve and enjoy! I like these with mustard, but I have to say a dab of mayonnaise can be very good with them too.