Monday, November 12, 2012

Salmon Cakes with Lemon-Caper Yogurt Sauce

Years ago I watched a cooking show where 2 contestants made salmon cakes and I was intrigued ever since then. Somehow the idea of salmon cakes went on the back burner until last week, when I realized there was still some salmon in the freezer that needed using up. I don't love the flavor of frozen salmon as much of that as fresh salmon, so I wanted a recipe that would make the salmon flavor less apparent. Then I started researching different salmon burger and salmon cake recipes. I didn't want to have to buy a bunch of spices that I didn't already have, and I didn't want to make patties that were filled with tons of different veggies.

I loved the idea of the sauce that Giada used with her salmon cakes, but didn't love all of the fillings she used. I wanted to keep the flavors slightly Mediterranean (though I would not consider this a Mediterranean recipe). I love dill and decided I wanted to add it to my recipe. If you're not a dill fan, you can scale it back or omit it completely and these would still be good. I started on these pretty late at night and didn't read over the step where they need to be chilled for an hour. At that point I was starving, so I decided I'd cook the salmon cakes the next afternoon for lunch. They held their shape well overnight and tasted great the next day. Serve these immediately, as with all fried food, for the best flavor.

Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis
Makes 6 to 8 salmon cakes

For the patties:
1 pound salmon
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup chopped scallions (about 2 to 3 scallions)
1 celery rib, diced
1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoons capers, chopped
1 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 scant tablespoons dried dill

For the sauce:
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon chopped capers
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoons lemon juice
salt and pepper, so season
1/3 teaspoon dried dill

Line a baking sheet with foil, place the salmon on top, drizzle with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bakes the salmon at 350ºF/175ºC for 15 to 20 minutes, until cooked. Or if you have leftover cooked salmon you can use that. Allow salmon to cool, then flake apart with a fork and place in a medium sized mixing bowl.

Into the bowl add the scallion, celery, 1/4 cup of the breadcrumbs, mustard, mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon oil, capers, lemon juice and zest, and dill. Mix all of the ingredients until combined. For the mixture into patties that are about 3/4" thick and 2 1/2" in diameter (will yield 6 to 8 patties). If your mixture is too dry to form patties, add mayonnaise 1 tablespoon at a time until your can form the patties. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl or plate. Coat the patties with the breadcrumbs and place on a plate. Allow formed patties to firm up in the fridge for an hour (or up to 12 hours).

In the meantime, make the sauce by mixing together all of the sauce ingredients.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan. When hot, add the patties and cooke until golden brown on each side, about 6 to 8 minutes per side. Once cooked, drain the patties on paper towels.

Serve salmon cakes while still warm with sauce.

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