Friday, April 4, 2014

Crispy Salmon Cakes with Creamy Lemon Herb Dipping Sauce

If that title doesnt grab you right there, I dont know what will!  Ive been making salmon cakes about once a month for the last 6 months or so and I usually just do my own thing and make some kind of tartar sauce to go along with them.  Theyre always tasty and we always enjoy them, but of course I found a recipe in my new book that just takes them to the next level!  The panko bread crumbs make them light and crisp on the outside and the flavors are amazing on the inside.  The dipping sauce is superb and we found ourselves dipping our oven fries into it as well.  These are a winner!  I hope you enjoy them.

Note: Almost every time Ive made salmon cakes, Ive used canned salmon because lets face, my husband is in grad school and we are on a low budget.  The original recipe calls for a 1 1/4 lb. skinless salmon fillet, cut into 1-inch pieces.  Since Ive never made it that way, I put canned salmon in the recipe, but Im confident these would taste far superior following the recipe and using fresh.  So do what you want!  If you too are low on funds, use canned and I promise they are still totally delicious!  Also, if using the canned salmon, add 1 egg to help them stay together.  They still taste great without it, but youll have a lot more trouble keeping them together.

Also remember to whip up your sauce before you start your salmon cakes since it needs to chill for 30 minutes.  Enjoy!

Crispy Salmon Cakes
Serves 4 (makes 8 cakes)

3 T. plus 3/4 c. panko bread crumbs
1 scallion, sliced thin
1 shallot, minced
2 T. minced fresh parsley
2 T. mayonnaise
4 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
pinch cayenne pepper
20 oz. canned salmon (or fresh - see note)
1 egg (optional, only if using canned salmon instead of fresh)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 recipe Creamy Lemon-Herb Dipping sauce (recipe below)

Line plate with paper towels and set aside.  Combine 3 T. panko, scallion, shallot parsley, mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard, egg (if using), salt, pepper, and cayenne in bowl.  (If using fresh salmon - pulse in food processor in 3 batches until coarsely chopped into 1/4-inch pieces).  Add salmon to bowl with panko mixture.  Gently mix until uniformly combined.

Place remaining 3/4 cup panko in shallow baking dish or pie plate.  Using 1/3-cup measure, scoop level amount of salmon mixture and transfer to baking sheet; repeat to make 8 cakes.  Carefully coat each cake in bread crumbs, gently patting cake into disk measuring 2 3/4 inches in diameter and 1 inch high.  Return coated cakes to baking sheet.

Heat oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering.  Place cakes in skillet and cook, without moving, until golden brown, about 2 minutes.  Carefully flip cakes and cook until second side is golden brown, 2-3 minutes.  Transfer cakes to prepared plate to drain for 1 minute.  Serve with lemon wedges or sauce.

Creamy Lemon-Herb Dipping Sauce
Makes about 1/2 cup

1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 T. plus 1 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1 T. minced fresh parsley (or 1/2 T. dried)
1 T. minced fresh thyme (or 1/2 T. dried)
1 scallion, minces
1/2 tsp. salt

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl and season with pepper to taste.  Cover and chill until flavors blend, at least 30 minutes.

Source: Cooks Illustrated Cookbook

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