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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Easy Salmon Cakes

We had some salmon that I wanted to make for dinner over the weekend, but wanted to do something quick, easy and a little different than the usual grilled or baked salmon fillet.  So, as usual, I turned to Cook's Illustrated magazine.

I found a recipe in the latest issue for Easy Salmon Cakes that were, in fact, very easy, quick and delicious.  It took less than a half-hour from raw ingredients to being on the table, ready to eat.  And did I mention that they were delicious?

Try them yourself. 

Serves 4

If you buy a skin-on salmon fillet, buy 1 1/3 lbs to yield the necessary amount of meat.  When processing, it's OK to have some salmon pieces larger than 1/4".  Just don't overprocess the fish.  Serve with lemon wedges and/or tartar sauce.

3 Tbsp plus 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
2 Tbsp mayonnaise
4 tsp lemon juice
1 scallion, sliced thin
1 small shallot, minced
1 tsp Dijon mustard
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 1/4 lb skinless salmon fillet, cut into 1" pieces
1/2 cup veg oil
  1. Combine 3 Tbsp panko, parsley, mayo, lemon juice, scallion, shallot, mustard, salt, pepper and cayenne in a medium bowl.  Working in 3 batches, pulse salmon in a food processor until coarsely chopped into 1/4" pieces, about 2 pulses, transferring each batch to the bowl with the panko mixture.  Gently mix until uniformly combined.
  2. Place remaining 3/4 cup panko in pie plate.  Using a 1/3 cup measuring cup, scoop level amounts of salmon mixture and transfer to a baking sheet; repeat to make 8 cakes.  Carefully move each cake to the panko and coat, gently patting into a disk measuring 2 3/4" in diameter and 1" high.  Return the coated cakes to the sheet.
  3. Heat the oil in a 12" skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering.  Place cakes in the skillet and cook without moving until golden brown, about 2 minutes.  Carefully flip the cakes and cook until the other side is golden brown, 2-3 minutes.  Transfer cakes to a paper towel-lined plate to drain for 1 minute.  Serve.
They also include a variation using smoked salmon, capers and dill.  Reduce amount of salmon to 1 lb and the salt to 1/2 tsp.  Substitute 1 Tbsp chopped dill for the parsley.  Add 4 oz finely chopped smoked salmon and 1 Tbsp capers to the bowl with the salmon mixture.  Continue with the recipe as written.

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