Salmon Cakes – With No Evil

What to do with that can of salmon? Make fish cakes! “Oh no! All that oil! Frying is evil” you say. Wait, Wait… you can make these in the oven, or more accurately, bake these in the oven and not have to deal with all that ‘evil’ frying. Although it is my firm belief that not all frying is evil.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 15 ounces canned red salmon, flaked
  • 1 cup soft bread crumbs (2 bread slices)
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

First, start by preheating you oven to 400°F. Then spray a cookie sheet with nonstick vegetable cooking spray, or use a nonstick cookie sheet.

Combine the salmon, bread crumbs, scallions, egg, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce in a medium-size bowl; stir the mixture well to combine. Then, shape the mixture into 4 equal patties. Place the patties on the prepared cookie sheet.

Bake the patties in the preheated oven for 5 minutes on each side or until the patties are golden and heated through. What could be simpler, and no evil frying. Top these with some homemade tartar sauce and enjoy without the fat-guilt.

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Summer Salmon and Couscous Salad

As the weather warms up thoughts turn towards picnics. Yeah, picnic season is upon us and I’ve been working on a couscous and salmon salad just right for bringing to a spread out blanket. This is still early in the development stage. It combines a Moroccan style French couscous with an Israeli Tune Couscous salad. But for what it’s worth let head down to the lab and see what’s on the slab…

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup chopped shallots3 cups water
  • 2 cups of couscous
  • 14 oz can of salmon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 cup good olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pitted, oil-cured black olives, coarsely chopped (3 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup jarred roasted red peppers, medium-diced (4 ounces)
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
  • 1 cup chopped scallions (6-8 scallions)
  • 1/4 cup julienned fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
  • Juice of 1/2 lime

Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a medium-size saucepan. Add the couscous and reduce the heat to very low. Cover the pot and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, until the couscous is just tender. (I pull the pot halfway off the heat.) Drain in a colander.

Meanwhile, combine the salmon, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, capers, olives, red peppers, garlic, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper in a large bowl. Pour the hot couscous into the mixture and stir well. Cover and set aside for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Just before serving, stir in the scallions, basil, juice of the 1/2 lime, and 1 more teaspoon of salt. Taste for seasonings and serve warm or at room temperature.

I like to garnish this with wedges if lime, so you might as well serve this with tequila coolers!

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Barefoot Smoked Salmon Spread

The time for outdoor picnicking is coming into full swing now and I’ve been going over some recipes for various salads and spreads. I came across a recipe from Ina Garten for making a smoked salmon spread. I think that her addition of dill and horseradish add a nice twist to the straight forward lox and cream cheese.

  • 1/4 pound (4 ounces) smoked salmon, minced
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh dill
  • 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish, drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Cream the cheese in an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until just smooth. Add the sour cream, lemon juice, dill, horseradish, salt, and pepper, and mix. Add the smoked salmon and mix well. Chill and serve crackers, or toasted pita strips.

This spread goes nicely with the crab salad stuffed tomatoes I posted earlier.

So get out there and picnic already!

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Salmon Rosti (a fishy potato hashbrown)

Rosti is a Swiss type of potato cake made from coarsely grated potato. And, winter is a nice time to grab a can of salmon and make up something warm and tasty. There’s nothing like fish fresh from the pantry when its too cold to go out to the fresh fish shop.  Combine these two ideas and you get Salmon Rosti… and how about a little dill sauce.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 14 ounce can boneless, skinless wild Alaskan salmon, drained
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 2 large eggs plus 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill or 3 teaspoons dried, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups frozen hash-brown shredded potatoes (about 12 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Combine salmon, onion, eggs and egg white, mustard, 2 tablespoons fresh dill (or 2 teaspoons dried), pepper and salt in a large bowl. Add potatoes and stir to combine.

Preheat oven to 200°F.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Fill a 1-cup measure two-thirds full with the salmon mixture and firmly pack it down. Unmold into the pan and pat to form a 3-inch cake. Repeat, making 3 more cakes. Cover and cook until browned on the bottom, 3 to 5 minutes. Gently turn over and cook, covered, until crispy on the other side, 3 to 5 minutes more. Transfer the cakes to a baking dish; keep warm in the oven. Wipe out the skillet and cook 4 more cakes with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and the remaining salmon mixture.

Combine sour cream, capers, lemon juice and the remaining dill in a small bowl. Serve the salmon cakes with the dill sauce.

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Canned Salmon Cakes Twist!

OK.. let’s review the recipe – and add a comment about the sodium content of bread crumbs!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Can of salmon
  • 4 medium red potatoes
  • 2 ribs of celery diced
  • 2 medium onions diced
  • 1 egg
  • Bread crumbs
  • Olive oil
  • bacon!

Grab your grater and grate those potatoes, watch the knuckles. Toss this into a large bowl. Then add the salmon, celery, onion, and egg. Mix this together well. Add in the bread crumbs, fresh if you can get them from the bakery, canned from the store if you can’.

Now, a quick health note about canned bread crumbs. Get the Panko style crumbs, the Japanese one… I’ve checked all the sodium contents for the other types of crumbs including the plain old crumbs and the sodium is well over 20 mg. That’s not acceptable. We want bread crumbs, not salt-bread crumbs. The Panko crumbs have sodium counts under 50mg. Much better for my heart.

So, now that you have the mixture ready, here’s the twist – use a scoop to form balls from the mixture, not patties. But wait! there’s more! take a strip of thin cut bacon and wrap it around the ball, securing with a toothpick if needed.

Take these bacon wrapped – great salmon balls and place them on a baking sheet then pop into a 350 degree oven for half an hour.

You can turn this recipe from a main course of large balls to an appetizer of small ball by using a melon scoop to form smaller balls and wrap with bacon slices cut in half. Either way these make a nice addition to your canned-salmon skills.

Canned Salmon Cakes

Salmon cakes, made with potatoes and eggs and breadcrumbs. These are pretty darn heart-healthy if you don’t fry them in a gazillion gallons of bad cooking oil. These cakes, made by grating fresh red potatoes and making use of that can of fish.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Can of salmon
  • 4 medium red potatoes
  • 2 ribs of celery diced
  • 2 medium onions diced
  • 1 egg
  • Bread crumbs
  • Olive oil

Grab your grater and grate those potatoes, watch the knuckles. Toss this into a large bowl. Then add the salmon, celery, onion, and egg. Mix this together well. Add in the bread crumbs, fresh if you can get them from the bakery, canned from the store if you can’t, until the mixture has the same consistency of cement… bad metaphor, sorry.

Now add a little olive oil to the pan and put on a moderately high heat.

Form patties from the salmon/potato mixture and fry them for about 3 to 5 minutes per side.

These are nice when topped with homemade tartar sauce, or you can add pickle relish to a little Russian salad dressing and use that to top them.

Patriots Patties

Patriots Patties… a simple main course burger made from Salmon… fresh from the sea, or canned, it’s a New England coastal variation on the usual burger.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 can (14-3/4 oz.) salmon
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1-1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup sliced onions
  • 3 egg whites

Drain salmon. Combine soy sauce and mustard. Blend salmon with bread crumbs, onions, and soy sauce mixture. Mix in egg whites. Form mixture into 4 patties and grill or broil until golden brown and heated through. Serve each burger on a bun with lettuce, tomato slices and the usual accompaniments.

Now, get back to the game…

Three Cans and a Plan

Three cans, a carrot, and a celery stalk walk into a bar… what to do… make salmon chowder. Salmon chowder is one of those winter comfort soups that really don’t take too long to whip up. I find that one of the best tips for making thick satisfying cream-based chowders is to cut the potatoes smaller than you normally would. I cut most of the potatoes into smaller than bite-size, but then I take one of the potatoes and dice it into small cubes. This releases much more starch into the chowder that helps to thicken it without adding fat laden cream or butter.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 12 ounce can salmon
  • 12 ounce can evaporated milk
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 tablespoons butter
  • 4 Long Island potatoes chopped
  • 1 Long Island potato diced
  • 2 celery stalks chopped
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 garlic cloved, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 2 cup of water
  • Sea salt

Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Saute onion, celery, and garlic until onions are tender. Stir in water, potatoes, carrots, pepper, salt, and tarragon. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat. Cover, and simmer about half an hour..

Once this base comes together, stir in salmon, evaporated milk, and corn. Go through that can of salmon, don’t just open the can and toss it in. Nope! Go through the salmon and remover and bone or skin that often works its way into these cans. Cook until heated through.

I like to serve this long with pumpernickel bread and an oatmeal stout beer right out of the jug from Blue Point brewery.

Salmon Cakes

What to do with that can of salmon at the back of your cupboard? Fisk cakes of course. I love to whip these up using a bit of celery a half nibbled carrot and the last of those flaky mashed potatoes. Yes fishcakes are a nice way of cleaning up the fridge.

  •  1 lg. can pink salmon
  • 1 egg
  • 1 c. bread crumbs
  • 1 finely diced onion
  • 1 diced celery rib
  • 1 finely diced carrot
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1 cup or so of mashed potatoes
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Drain salmon and flaky it with a fork, then add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well. Form into cakes and fry in the lightest bit of olive oil. Top these with a little tartar sauce…

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp. dill relish
  • ½ tbsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 dash pepper
  • 1 squirt lime juice