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Salmon Cakes

September 14, 2011

SEPTEMBER 12th, 2011 — I spent a week in Wyoming at Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park, where one of the specialty dishes is Trout Cakes. I had them both at the Old Faithful Inn, topped with pumpkin seed pesto, and at the Signal Mountain Lodge in Grand Teton Natl. Park, with lemon caper aioli.
So, as with every trip, I like to try to recreate something special from the region.

So what did you do?
Salmon cakes are a great way to use leftover salmon that’s already been cooked.
But I had some raw salmon fillets, so I baked them at 350 for ~15 minutes, with just a little sprinkle of garlic salt. No extra oil or anything.
When they’re done, get rid of the skin and bones, and flake it into little pieces. I found a thick, sturdy spatula worked well.

And while the salmon was baking, I finely, FINELY, chopped a sweet onion and sauteed them lightly, and set them aside to chill.

Then I could make the mixture. So to my bowl of salmon (around 1.5 cups) I added:
-1 tsp sweet hot mustard
-1 egg
*NOTE: it’s wise to let the salmon and onion cool down a bit after cooking, so their heat doesn’t shock and cook the egg
-the 1 cup of chopped onion
-3/4 cup breadcrumbs, Italian style

I molded them into little patties, and placed them into a frying pan, letting them cook around 2 minutes on each side.

After both sides had browned, I placed all 12 of them on a baking sheet and placed them in a 450 degree oven for about 10-15 minutes, so they could cook thoroughly. I’m not sure why all this cooking is necessary for patties of already cooked salmon and sauteed onions. Maybe it’s the egg?

In any case, these were fabulous –hearty, with a slightly, slightly creamy taste & texture. Good for little hors d’oeuvres, or have several (several = three, not five) for a filling meal.
I served them over a bed of spring greens, with my Balsamic Tomato & White Nectarine Chutney, a good play between savory comfort food and a bright condiment. Another excellent condiment would be a creamy ranch, I thought. I’d tell my brother to do that with the leftovers.

Lessons learned?
Returning to my home kitchen did mean a lack of herbs and spices. I would have loved lots of ground black pepper, and some oregano or parsley or basil, or something. I think I could have added more mustard to bring out the tangy side.


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