Meatless Fridays #2 – Salmon Patties
Growing up on the East coast I was introduced to fresh seafood at an early age. My earliest memories are of having fried fish on Friday. As I grew up I learned to love seafood. fresh fish, lobster, clams and shrimp were all on the table at one time or another.
We always went on vacation in August. My Mom and Dad would pack up the car, with my sister and I onboard, and were were off to some exotic (at least for us kids) location. On one trip we headed south on route # 13 down the Delmarva Peninsula through Delaware,Maryland and Virginia. At the end of the Peninsula was the newly built Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel . This 23 mile crossing was a combination of bridges and tunnels connecting the Eastern shore of Maryland/Virginia and the Norfolk Hampton Roads area (Virginia). One of the things that made the bridge special was the restaurant and pier that sat on the southernmost island of the crossing. Here sat a gift shop, a fishing pier (I fished it as a kid!) and a restaurant. The last time I crossed and stopped (2005) the restaurant had deteriorated into some kind of fast food joint where you can grab a burger an a soda before pushing on but in those days it was a sit down dining experience with fresh fish and a full bar. I remember my dad ordering a beer and having it come in a decorative/collectable tin mug ( I still have this souvenir). I also remember my first Crab Cake. The sweet crab with that Old Bay Seasoning topped with tartar sauce was magical.
Having worked with food most of my life I have made more than a few Crab Cakes. I have also learned that other fish and seafood work almost as well in cake form as Crab does. I have made Cod Cakes, Shrimp Cakes, and even an excellent Bluefish cake ( from fish I caught myself last Summer). For my second meatless Friday menu I am going to make Salmon Cakes.
Seafood cakes of this type come in two versions. The first is called Boardwalk style. This version usually has fish or seafood,mayonnaise, seasoning, egg and breadcrumb to bind. These are deep fried and served on a bun. The second version ( what I am going to make) is called Restaurant style. It contains the same basic ingredients but with much less filler. It is also sautéed instead of deep fried and is not served on a bun. I really like the recipe on the side of the Old Bay Seasoning canister so I always use this a a basic recipe. I also like to add some sautéed red pepper and onion and a teaspoon of a good mustard. I am also adding a couple of shrimp that I have on hand. Why? you ask. Why not? I say. While there is nothing wrong with Tartar sauce I like to ( as a famous TV Chef once said) “kick it up a notch” by serving the cakes topped with a little Remoulade Sauce. While this dish can be (and historically is) made with leftover fish or seafood I am using fresh Salmon an a couple of shrimp I have on hand. One of the important things to remember is to only use as much (or as little) binder as you need for your mix to hold together. Also, don’t mince the fish/shellfish up too much or it will get lost amongst the rest of the ingredients. Use a larger dice so you know the fish is there.
1 # fresh Salmon diced medium
1/4# Shelled Shrimp
1 tablespoon Mayonnaise
1 tablespoon fresh chopped Parsley
1/4 cup finely diced red sweet red pepper and onion (sautéed)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1 egg beaten
bread crumb to bind ( just enough for the mix to hold together)
Mix all ingredient together and form into 4 larger ( or 8 smaller) patties.
Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Saute in a buttered skillet until a golden brown crust forms on the bottom.
Carefully flip your cakes and repeat process on the other side.
Make sure your fish is cooked. If you are concerned the Salmon cakes can be placed in a hot oven for a few minutes.
For the Remoulade sauce I like to keep it simple. I just mix mayonnaise, a little pickle relish, chopped capers, fresh chopped parsley,lemon juice and some good mustard to make the sauce. Feel free to use any similar recipe!