I made mango salsa yesterday and the unthinkable happened---the chips ran out before the salsa did. Never mind that the logical progression of this dish would involve using leftover cooked salmon. I bought fresh salmon and poached it in the afternoon so that I would have an excuse to use up the last luscious bit of salsa. This is an adaptation of a family favorite: crab cakes served on top of spring greens dressed with balsamic vinegar. You can use canned or fresh crab, fresh shrimp, lobster, salmon or cod for these simple cakes. The basis for a fish cake is cooked fish, bread or cracker crumbs, egg, mayonnaise*, seasonings, herbs, and sometimes green or red onion, and bell peppers. These are simple to make and can be made ahead. In fact they do best when they've had a little while to chill before frying. This makes for an incredibly easy and elegant spring dinner, and in our house we all agree that these homemade cakes are better than any we've had even in the fanciest restaurants---they always turn out lighter and fresher tasting than commercially made ones.
Salmon Cakes 1 pound cooked salmon 2 eggs, beaten 1 cup cracker or bread crumbs, I used crushed Ritz crackers extra crumbs for coating the cakes (I used panko bread crumbs) 1/3 cup minced red onion 1/3 cup minced red bell pepper juice of 1/2 lime (or lemon) 1/2 tsp dried dill a palm-full of fresh chives, if you have them salt and pepper * I usually make crab cakes with the addition of mayo, but for the salmon I added a second egg and omitted the mayo.
Roughly break apart the cooked salmon, and combine all the ingredients well in a mixing bowl. Form into 8 balls. Roll the balls in the bread crumbs, and slightly flatten into a disk shape. Place them on a plate, cover with plastic wrap and chill until ready to cook. (To make 8 even cakes, divide the bowl in quarters, then make two cakes from each quarter.)
Saute the cakes in olive oil until golden brown on each side. Keep the first batch warm in the oven while you finish the others. Serve on top of a pile of greens dressed with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Spoon the mango salsa on the side.
Prep your plates ahead and you'll have plenty of time to raise a glass or two of wine to the summer solstice.
These cakes aren't cakey at all. They're filled with big chunks of moist salmon and they fall apart in your mouth. The bits of onion and pepper give a nice crunch and sweet tangy bite. You could serve these as salmon burgers on buns as well---just make 4 larger burgers instead of 8.
Sue/the view from great island