September 8, 2014

Salmon Fritters

I've always had a fear of leftover cooked fish and all its cold clamminess. That is, until, when recently faced with some leftover salmon, I searched the internet for “what to do with leftover fish” and changed my world forever. Leftover cooked fish can be used in fish tacos, stews, salads, sandwiches and fish cakes. Who knew? The key is to either gently bring the fish up to room temperature or reheat it for a very short amount of time.  Salmon cakes sounded the most appealing to me so I faced my fear. 

The result was fist-pumping joy, which no one was around to see. And unfortunately, it was too dark outside to get a picture of my salmon cakes, so I made them again from fresh salmon last weekend, just for you. And I’m calling them “fritters” because that’s a tasty sounding word. These are great to pop in the freezer and save for a quick and easy weeknight dinner; just read the freezing directions at the bottom of the recipe before you begin. Here's the recipe, starting with fresh, raw fish. If you're using leftover cooked fish, skip the first two steps.

RECIPE (Adapted from Martha Stewart's salmon cake recipe)

1 10oz-16oz salmon fillet
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup chopped scallions
1/4 cup plain breadcrumbs
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon hot sauce such as Tabasco or Frank’s (optional)
1 large egg, lightly beaten

1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2.  Place fish on a rimmed baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Bake until cooked through, about 20 minutes. Let it cool completely.
3.  Remove the skin and all bones. In a bowl, flake the salmon into tiny pieces using two forks. To the salmon, add the scallions, breadcrumbs, parsley, mayonnaise, mustard, hot sauce, egg and a pinch of salt and pepper.
4.  Mix it all up until the consistency is thick enough for forming patties.
5.  Form 4 patties about 3 inches wide or 6 smaller patties. Place them on a plate and refrigerate them until firm, about 20 minutes.
6.  Meanwhile, make your yogurt sauce by whisking together the yogurt, fresh lemon juice, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
7.  Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.
8.  Cook the fritters until lightly browned, about 2 minutes on each side, adding more oil to the pan when necessary.
9.  Serve right away with the yogurt sauce.

Freezing Instructions: Form the salmon fritters, but don't sear them in the pan. Instead, place them on a baking sheet and freeze them until they're firm. Wrap each fritter in plastic and transfer them to a resealable freezer bag. Store them up to 1 month in the freezer. Defrost them overnight in the refrigerator before searing.

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