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Marie’s Salmon Cakes

  • October 18, 2022

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:

http://danafarber.jimmyfund.org/site/TR?fr_id=1930&pg=personal&px=2424186

Click here to connect with me on Instagram and find out what’s cooking in Ciao Chow Linda’s kitchen each day (and more)

5.0 from 2 reviews
Marie's Salmon Cakes
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Gently toss well to incorporate ingredients.
  4. Form your salmon cakes into 3x1 inch deep patties. Note: I use a biscuit cutter to form mine as stated in the post.
  5. Refrigerate the salmon cakes for at least 2 or more hours for best results, I would not form and then cook them right away.
  6. When it's time to cook, heat the oven up to 450F.
  7. Drizzle the bottom of an oven proof skillet with olive oil.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Serve with a squeeze of lemon and tartar sauce, or an aioli of your choice.
  11. FOR THE RED PEPPER AIOLI:
  12. Saute the red pepper and garlic with a tablespoon olive oil over low heat until softened.
  13. Do not brown the garlic.
  14. Place the garlic, red pepper, mayonnaise, paprika and lemon juice in a blender and whir until smooth.
  15. It may be thin, but it thickens as it sits.
  16. Serve room temperature with the salmon cakes.
  17. It's also good as a dip, or a spread on sandwiches.
 

Grilled Baby Artichokes

  • March 20, 2015
According to the calendar, it’s the first day of Spring, but it sure still feels like winter outside here in central New Jersey. Patches of snow are scattered across my lawn from the last storm and even more snow is forecast for our region today.
But if Mother Nature isn’t cooperating, signs of Spring are abundant at the grocery store – from the first fava beans to these baby artichokes that I couldn’t resist.
I’ve made stuffed artichokes and posted the recipe for them before, as my mother-in-law taught me years ago. But I’d never grilled artichokes the way my blogger buddy Marie does. Until now, that is.
They’re a snap to make, but they do need to be boiled first before putting on the grill (or grill pan, in this case.)
Just square off the tops and plunk them into boiling water for 1/2 hour to 45 minutes. Test with a knife and if they offer no resistance, they’re done. Drain and cool, then cut in half and scoop out the small choke in the middle.
Drizzle them with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt, pepper, some minced garlic, parmesan cheese (or Romano) and minced parsley. Toss in a bowl to coat.
 Then place on a grill pan that’s heated on high heat and brushed with olive oil.
 After a few minutes, they should have nice grill marks, so flip on the other side and let them heat another few minutes until thoroughly heated through.
 Serve as a side dish, or as a first course, or even as appetizers with drinks. Have a side dish ready for the inedible part of the leaves.  
Join us for a writing retreat in one of the most beautiful places on Earth – along the shores of Italy’s Lake Como. Click here for more information.
Grilled Baby Artichokes
Trim the top of the artichokes and boil for 1/2 hour to 45 minutes, until tender. Remove and cool, then cut out the hairy choke in the middle. Place the artichoke halves in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil. To the bowl, add salt and pepper to taste, minced garlic, minced parsley and some parmesan cheese (or Romano cheese). Toss everything together and grill on high heat for a few minutes on one side, then flip and grill the second side for a few minutes.

 

Italian Gals Cookie Exchange

  • December 22, 2014
Over the years, I’ve whittled my Christmas cookie baking to two or three types. Fortunately, I know I can count on my father’s wife to bring me a tin of pizzelle and my friend Lilli to bake me some of her almond paste cookies. But this year, I can add three more types of cookies to my cookie tray, thanks to a cookie exchange with three of my favorite Italian food bloggers, – Adri, Domenica and Marie.
We started our first annual “Italian Gals Cookie Exchange,” baking cookies and shipping them to each other at our homes across the United States – from  California and Illinois to Virginia and New Jersey.  Who says you have to live in the same town to have a cookie exchange?
The arrivals were greatly anticipated and felt like an early Christmas present.  The first two arrived on the same day, including Domenica’s delicious cranberry hazelnut biscotti, one of the recipes that will be included in the newest cookbook she’s written, about to be released in March, called “Ciao Biscotti.”
 Adri’s heavenly three-nut fingers came in a tin beautifully lined in striped tissue paper, with each pair of cookies individually delicately wrapped inside its own waxed paper envelope. The buttery cookies, with almonds, hazelnuts and pecans, just melted in the mouth.
And the reputation for Marie’s legendary cucidati preceded the actual cookies. I’ve been reading about them for years, since she makes hundreds of them each Christmas and I’ve been so anxious to try them. They were every bit as delicious as what I had expected and brought back memories of Christmases with my late husband’s Aunt Jenny, who baked a similar version.
 My contribution were these chocolate-y, spicy cookies that my mother made each Christmas when I was growing up. She called them “brownies” but they’re nothing like American brownies, except for the chocolate. In addition to the cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, there’s another unexpected spice that gives them a zing. For me, they’re a taste of my childhood and it wouldn’t be Christmas without them. The recipe, adapted from Alfred Portale, is listed below, but you can see step by step photos of how to make them on a post I wrote here, shortly after I started the blog in 2008. They’re actually based on a Sicilian cookie called either “tutu” or “toto,” according to reports I received from readers. Sometimes they’re even referred to as “Meatball cookies.” I think you can see why.
 Also included on the plate below are a couple of “intorchiate,” a cookie I wrote about in my last blog post.
I hope we four bloggers continue to maintain this tradition each year, and that we have inspired you to start your own cookie exchange, whether you live close to your friends, or far away. Just make sure to bake cookies that aren’t too fragile so they won’t break during shipment, and to keep it to a maximum of two dozen cookies and four people. Otherwise, you’ll spend a lot on shipping and you’ll be baking until la Befana comes home on January 6.
In the meantime, Buon Natale and best wishes for a wonderful 2015 to all my readers. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog through the year and for those of you who leave comments, an extra bacione.



Cocoa Christmas Cookies
or Italian “Brownies”


printable recipe here
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa
4 1/2 tsps. baking powder
2 tsps. cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. black pepper
3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup apricot jam
1/4 cup milk
2 cups chocolate chips

If using raisins and walnuts as Portale did, add 1 1/2 cups of each

glaze:
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, salt, black pepper. Combine and set aside.
2. With a heavy duty mixer, beat butter and sugar together until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating on medium speed for 1 minute after each addition. Beat in vanilla, jam, and milk. Set mixer to low and gradually add flour mixture, beating only until it is incorporated. Add the chocolate chips. The batter will be extremely stiff.
3. Place a large piece of waxed paper or parchment paper on the counter and flour it generously. Take a large spoon and scoop out a couple of heaping cups of the stiff batter onto the floured surface. Use a spoon to release it if needed. Flour your hands well and begin to shape the batter into a log shape, about an inch in diameter, rolling it back and forth on the floured surface. Use the paper to help mold it. Place the “logs” into the refrigerator for a couple of hours.
4. Remove from refrigerator and cut into sections about 1 1/2 inches wide. You can leave it this shape, or roll it between the palms of your hand into a flattened ball, which is the traditional shape.
5. Place balls on a parchment-lined or greased and floured cookie sheet, about 1 inch apart. Bake for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees. The tops will crack – this is normal. Transfer cookies to a rack and let cool. Cover with the glaze when completely cooled.
For the glaze:

Mix sifted confectioner’s sugar and lemon juice with a spoon until the desired consistency. I make mine almost like a frosting rather than a glaze, which means you’ll need to add more sugar. If you prefer yours to be more of a drizzle, adjust with more lemon juice.

This recipe makes about 6 to 7 dozen cookies and they freeze well. Just make sure the glaze is dry before putting them in the freezer. They will get hard if you leave them at for more than a week.