June 25, 2009
I’ve got this pesky little food allergy that, while not serious in an anaphalactic shock kind of way, makes me sick enough that there are certain things I can’t eat. Shellfish, mostly, which rules out bacon-wrapped scallops, lobster bisque and much to my dismay, crab cakes.
I’ve never had a crab cake. But I’ve always wanted to. They look so delicious, so perfectly ladies who lunch, that I’ve always felt like I was really missing out on something by not being able to participate in what I imagine to be the joy of a crab cake.
So imagine how excited I was to open the latest issue of Everyday Food to find a recipe for salmon cakes that look just as delicious as any crab cake I’ve ever laid eyes on! As it happens we had a freezer full of leftover True North salmon and I was looking for ways beyond the usual bake, broil or grill to use them up.
Although there are two parts to the recipe and a number of steps involved, these beauties were easy enough to whip together on a Friday night after work. We had them over a chopped salad topped with left-over honey mustard vinaigrette from my market potato salad and some crusty bread for a light, summer meal. That combo would also be perfect for lunch with your ladies.
Adapted from Everyday Food
3 6-ounce salmon fillets
2 carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 celery stalk, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 medium onions, 1 peeled and halved, the other finely chopped
1/2 lemon thinly sliced
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
3/4 cup plain dried breadcrumbs
1 large egg
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
To poach salmon:
1. In a large skillet or heavy pot, combine carrots, celery, halved onion, lemon slices, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 6 cup of water. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 8 minutes.
2. Season salmon with salt and gently lower into simmering liquid. Reduce to a very gentle simmer and cook, covered, until salmon is opaque, about five minutes. Remove using a wide-slotted spatula and flake with a fork.
To make salmon cakes:
3. In a medium skillet heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add 1 medium onion finely chopped and season with coarse salt and pepper. Cook until onion is tender, about three minutes and transfer to a bowl to cool.
4. Stir in 1/4 cup plain dried breadcrumbs, egg, lemon zest and lemon juice into the onion mixture. Fold in poached salmon flakes.
5. Season the rest of the breadcrumbs with salt and pepper. Divide salmon mixture into eight portions and dredge in breadcrumbs. Form into cakes about 3/4-inch thick, patting crumbs to adhere.
6. Heat another tablespoon of vegetable oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Cook salmon cakes in two batches, until gold brown, about three to five minutes per side. Add another tablespoon of oil for the second batch.