Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Salmon Cakes with Lemon-Caper Yogurt Sauce

These salmon cakes are a nice change of pace from traditional crab cakes. I'm one of those people who doesn't like "fishy" fish (I realize how stupid that sounds), so I appreciate that these are mild. They're crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. The yogurt sauce adds some really nice tang, while the lemon just brightens it all up. Plus it's a great way to use up leftover salmon (I'd like to pretend I have that problem, but who am I kidding).

Yield: 6 to 8 salmon cakes

1 lb. skinless salmon fillet
olive oil, for drizzling
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 large egg, beaten
1/3 cup chopped fresh chives
26 saltine crackers, crushed (put half in a bowl and reserve for coating)
1/2 cup corn kernels, cut from 1 ear of corn (or thawed if using frozen)
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
3 tablespoons mayonnaise, plus more, as needed
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest

3 tablespoons canola oil or vegetable oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup whole plain Greek yogurt
1 1/2 tablespoons capers, rinsed, drained and chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1.      Salmon: Preheat grill to medium-high heat (or oven to 350º F.). Drizzle the salmon with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Grill until the flesh is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork, about 6 to 8 minutes on each side. (Or put salmon in a baking dish and bake until just cooked through, about 15-20 minutes.) Set aside to cool for 20 minutes.
2.      Patties: Using a fork, flake the salmon into 1/2-inch pieces and put into a medium bowl. Add egg, chives, 1/2 of the crushed crackers, the corn, mustard, mayonnaise, capers, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Mix gently until just combined. Form the mixture into 2 1/2-inch diameter patties, about 3/4 inches thick. (If the mixture is too dry to form into patties, add extra mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon at a time,) Carefully coat the patties in the remaining crushed crackers and refrigerate for 1 hour.
3.      In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil and butter over medium heat. Add the patties and cook until golden and crispy, about 7 to 8 minutes each side. Drain on paper towels.
4.      Sauce: In a small bowl, mix together the yogurt, capers, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
5.      Arrange the salmon cakes on a platter and serve alongside the sauce.

barely adapted from Giada De Laurentiis
raw salmon, drizzled with oil and sprinkled with salt & pepper
baked salmon (don't be skeeved out by the grey color on
the other side, that's just from where the skin was removed)
cutting kernels off the corn cob
lemon zest

I crushed them in a large ziploc bag, but you can use
a food processor or any method that works for you.
(The crushing was a good job to give my 6-year-old.)
crushed saltines
flaking the baked salmon
I flaked mine a little finer than the recipe calls for
(I just wasn't paying attention and did it out of
habit, like when you make salmon or tuna salad).
The texture was still great though.
everything else added on top of the salmon
all mixed
formed into patties (one in the back already dredged)

If you have any trouble forming the patties,
try adding one more tablespoon of mayonnaise.
all patties dredged in saltine crumbs

I was pressed for time and skipped putting these in
the fridge for an hour before cooking. I was worried
they might fall apart a little, but no problem.
salmon cakes pan-frying
flipped and almost ready
thick Greek yogurt
chopped capers, lemon juice and lemon zest added
sauce mixed
salmon cakes on paper towels
salmon cake with a dollop of lemon-caper yogurt sauce

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