JOANNA'S FOOD: family cooking, from scratch, every day

Monday, June 18, 2007

Easy salmon cakes

Television cooks are always banging on about how their elaborate supper dishes only take 30 minutes to cook. But by the evening, most people are too exhausted or idle to be cooking from scratch, certainly on a regular basis. This is a problem if you don't want to eat industrially processed food. Much better than so-called quick food is the concept of easy slow food.

This recipe illuminates one aspect of the slow food approach - the deliberate creation of leftovers. Here it was salmon. On Friday, I bought a filleted side of salmon, and cooked it in my usual way, smothered in lemon zest and pepper & baked in a hot oven. We ate about a third of it.

The next day, I used the leftovers to make a salmon fishcake mix. We ate some for supper, others went into the freezer. The recipe is an adaptation of my Maryland crabcakes, using Matzo meal rather than mashed potato, which gives a lighter result (and means that Lucius can eat potatoes with them: he sees any meal without hot potatoes as a wasted opportunity).

The point about this recipe is that the ingredients need to be mixed ahead of time, so that the Matzo has time to soften and absorb the flavours. Just leave the mixing bowl in the fridge, covered with a plate (quicker than clingfilm, apart from any other consideration). It only takes a couple of minutes, and can be done up to 24 hours ahead, although half an hour is enough, too. That means you can mix it up the night before, or in the morning, and then all you need to do in the evening, when you no longer have the energy to think (let alone cook), is put the mixture in dollops into your frying pan and mix up a salad.

Salmon cakes

1 egg
2 tsp Dijon mustard
the juice of one lemon
450g cooked salmon
50g Matzo meal
chopped herbs (optional)

Mix the egg with two teaspoons of Dijon mustard and the lemon juice (zest, too, if you like). Add the salmon and Matzo meal and, using a fork, stir together until it's all amalgamated. When you're ready to cook, you can chop in some herbs - dill would be good with salmon, or parsley, chives, perhaps coriander. Shape into patties - these days, I use a ring, because these are a little flaky, but you really don't have to. If you want to freeze them, now's the moment, interleaved with greaseproof paper. I'd thaw them all day in the fridge before cooking them, but I dare say you could cook them from frozen (as if you'd bought the cardboard sort in Tesco). They need about five minutes on each side.

Three delicious,quick, easy, heart-healthy meals.


MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

I'm happy with leftover salmon in many guises and your cakes would suit me just right!

Anonymous said...

I am impressed by the ease in which you make this recipe seem. It simple and perfect, and an option I never even thought about concerning my left over salmon. If you're such a foodie you should defintely enter this sweeptaes. I work with Bon Appetit and our sweepstakes takes the winner on a trip to NYC to meet and dine with the editors and tour the sets and kitchens of the Food Network. You should totally check it out! Here's the link . It would be a really great opprotunity for you since you have a passion for food.

Joanna said...

Thanks Gina, I'll check it out now, and get back to you


Linda said...

awesome! i've been looking for a new fishcake recipe to try. i'll have to give this one a go tonight. thanks for the recipe!