Marie’s Salmon Cakes
Like many of you, I’m a big fan of salmon, but I usually make salmon filets, not salmon cakes. However, I wanted to post something from my friend, Marie, of Proud Italian Cook, not just because she has great recipes, but for another important reason. Please read to the end to find out why. She has posted so many good recipes over the years, it was hard to choose which to make. But in the end, I decided it was time to try her salmon cakes. They did not disappoint. They were exquisitely delicious and a nice change from the typical salmon filets. I added the red pepper aioli to serve with them, because I love aioli on anything, from sandwiches to a vegetable dip.
Marie starts by sauteeing the minced vegetables, then letting them cool for a bit before adding to the salmon, which is fresh from the fish market, not canned.
I bought about a pound of salmon (Marie’s recipe uses about 1 1/2 pounds) and ch0pped it with a knife — not so fine that it was like mincemeat, but with pieces that were recognizable as salmon. One pound was plenty for two people and it made four large cakes. I even had one salmon cake left over since we were too stuffed to each finish two of them.
Mix everything together with a wooden spoon. It smelled so good just in its raw state, with all the seasonings, that we knew they’d be even better after they were cooked.
I used a muffin cutter to shape the salmon cakes. Press down with a spoon to make them compact, then gently lift the form. It came off easily. Marie suggests letting them chill for at least two hours to avoid having them fall apart while cooking. Well, I was impatient and waited only an hour, and it worked out fine. I dusted them with bread crumbs after they had chilled for a while.
Then I sauteed them in a saucepan on both sides with a little olive oil, before placing them in the oven to finish at 450 degrees F.
Mine took about ten minutes in the oven to cook, but they were quite thick. Depending on how thick you make them, you might need less, or more time in the oven. Serve them as is, with a squirt of lemon, or with this simple red pepper aioli sauce I made in the blender. These were so good I plan to make them for company real soon.
Now, the other reason I am posting this recipe of Marie’s, is to lend support to a friend who has recently been diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer. Marie has just started treatment for this dreaded scourge and her challenge is formidable. In solidarity and to honor his mother, Marie’s son has signed up to run the Boston marathon in her name to raise money for cancer research. Although we initially met on the blogosphere, I’ve also met Marie in person, and she is just as sweet and sincere in real life as she comes across on her blog. She has given so much to her readers with her recipes over the last nearly 15 years, let’s show her that we’re behind her 100 percent in the fight of her life. If you can, here’s the link where you can donate:
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- 1-1/2 lbs. fresh salmon or 4 filets, skin removed. hand chopped into small chunks ( I was able to make 7 cakes with that amount)
- 1 celery stalk, small dice
- ¼ onion, small dice
- 2 green onions, sliced small
- 2 small mini red peppers or half of a large red pepper, small dice
- 1 yellow mini pepper or ¼ of a large, small dice
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
- a pinch of cayenne
- ½ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
- 1 large garlic clove, chopped fine
- 1 heaping tablespoon chopped parsley
- ⅓ cup full fat mayo
- ⅓ cup panko bread crumbs and a little extra to coat the top and bottom of the cakes
- 1 heaping tablespoon of Dijon mustard
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- LINDA'S EASY RED PEPPER AIOLI:
- 1 red pepper, roasted, or sliced and sauteed in olive oil until limp
- 6 cloves garlic, sauteed in olive oil until soft (I sauteed them with the red pepper)
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- dash of paprika
- juice of half a lemon
- Drizzle the bottom of a small sauté pan with olive oil and toss in all the diced veggies, onions, peppers, celery and garlic, cooking until translucent. Turn off heat and let them cool down completely.
- Into a bowl add the chopped salmon, the cooled down veggies, the mayo, zest, breadcrumbs and Djon and a little salt and pepper to taste.
- Gently toss well to incorporate ingredients.
- Form your salmon cakes into 3x1 inch deep patties. Note: I use a biscuit cutter to form mine as stated in the post.
- Refrigerate the salmon cakes for at least 2 or more hours for best results, I would not form and then cook them right away.
- When it's time to cook, heat the oven up to 450F.
- Drizzle the bottom of an oven proof skillet with olive oil.
- Pour some panko breadcrumbs on a flat plate and press the bottom and top of each salmon cake into it then into the heated 1 skillet.
- When each cake is lightly golden on each side place the oven proof skillet into the oven and finish it off, anywhere to around 6 or 8 additional minutes, oven vary so you be the judge.
- Serve with a squeeze of lemon and tartar sauce, or an aioli of your choice.
- FOR THE RED PEPPER AIOLI:
- Saute the red pepper and garlic with a tablespoon olive oil over low heat until softened.
- Do not brown the garlic.
- Place the garlic, red pepper, mayonnaise, paprika and lemon juice in a blender and whir until smooth.
- It may be thin, but it thickens as it sits.
- Serve room temperature with the salmon cakes.
- It's also good as a dip, or a spread on sandwiches.