Friday, March 30, 2012

Salmon Patties

Commonly known as croquettes, salmon is combined with fresh parsley and seasonings, crushed saltine crackers and egg, shaped into patties and pan fried for an old southern favorite. Traditionally served with mashed potatoes and creamed peas.

Salmon Patties

My husband loves salmon patties, and while they are both delicious and a common Friday meal during Lent, I think his love of them comes mostly from the memories. Every single time that I make them, he mentions his grandma and how she often made them for him. That's enough for me to make them for him anytime.

Speaking of Lent, can y'all believe that Easter is right around the corner? Geez. Time sure crawls when you're young and waiting for permission to wear makeup, or shave your legs, turn 16, 18 or 21, or go out with a guy, or get your license. Why does it fly as you get older? And, come to think of it, are any of those even milestones in a gal's life anymore these days?

This is really a basic croquettes recipe that can be made using many different proteins, and often was, intended to stretch that little bit of leftover meat into another meal. Saltines are pretty standard for binding, but our grandmas often used leftover mashed potatoes as the binder instead, and sometimes just made croquettes from the potatoes alone. Just about anything will work for these, from shrimp to tuna, to catfish and other white fish, to shredded roast and other meats, or chicken, to just plain potatoes, with a little minor adjustment for seasonings.

Grind leftover meats using your food processor or use your stand mixer and paddle attachment to beat it to submission. Laura Weathers, the Kitchen Aid lady on QVC, shared this tip a few months back - though she might have been using the newest KA hand mixer to be honest. Truth is, it's one of those tips that's been around for years, but taken on a new life and suddenly gone viral around the blogosphere thanks to Pinterest here lately - so funny how that happens.

Sort of like our modern commercials. Ever notice that many of them no longer use jingles, but rather old classic songs from the 60s and 70s? Makes me chuckle how the younger folks probably have no clue it's an old song their parents might have been necking to at the drive-in, back in the day. Come to think of it... a lot of those are car commercials. Everything old is new again, right? Can you believe I just talked about leg shaving, make up, necking and drive-ins in a post about salmon patties? Honestly though, could you even imagine a drive-in today? Pretty scary thought if you're got teenagers still at home, huh?

Anyway, unless we're talking about making a massive amount of chicken salad for a wedding or something, I'm pretty much still a hand shredder myself, though I reckon arthritis could change that at any time at this stage of my life, but hey, it does a good job so I say, go for it, if it helps! Make sure the meat is warm, and then you can just use your mixer bowl to combine the rest of the ingredients too.

I had vague memories of croquettes once having been formed into these tall, cone-shaped things, and had just about given those thoughts up to something I must've actually dreamed instead of seen, since anytime I mentioned that, folks looked at me like I had horns growing out of my head. Then one day, the subject came up in a conversation with my sister and she mentioned that very thing. Well, I don't know if anybody else remembers those, but if my sister and I do, then it happened. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it y'all!

Special thanks to Mary Katherine who first reminded me about these back in 2010. Hey ... I never said I was quick about delivery did I? Now, how about let's make some salmon patties?

Though you certainly can, you do not have to remove the skin or bones from most canned salmon. The canning process softens the bones making them edible, like eating a sardine for instance, and they're loaded with calcium and Omega-3 fatty acids. You can also pick them out, or look for canned products without the skin and bones too, if you'd rather. I leave them in. Of course, substitute fresh, cooked salmon too if you like!


Use a fork to gently break apart the salmon, leaving some small chunks.


Add the onion, pepper, Cajun seasoning, Old Bay, parsley and lemon zest.


Toss.


Add the cracker crumbs, egg and water. You may also substitute bread crumbs, panko, flour, cornmeal or even leftover mashed potatoes for the crackers if you prefer. Potatoes make for a fluffier croquette.


Shape into 4 to 6 patties. I managed 5 this time. If you like, you can coat the patties with bread crumbs,  panko, flour or cornmeal, but I like them just fine without the coating.


Heat oil in a skillet over medium high heat oil and carefully add the patties, cooking until browned; use a fish turner or wide spatula to carefully turn and brown the other side. Drain on paper towels. You may also bake them if you prefer. Serve immediately.


Though the standard sides for salmon patties are often mashed or fried potatoes and creamed green peas, I often serve these as a main dish with a mixed garden salad on the side and a fresh tomato pasta, or with a veggie side of green beans or lima beans and a good sauce for dipping. Comeback sauce, Remoulade, Cajun mayonnaise, horseradish sauce, or ketchup, are all good. These also make perfectly good sandwiches.

Salmon patties served over a bed of angel hair pasta with fresh tomato sauce using this recipe, minus the crab.

Recipe: Salmon Patties

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 10 min | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients
  • 1 (14.75 ounce) can of pink or red salmon, undrained
  • 1/3 cup of finely minced onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama), or to taste, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Old Bay seasoning, or to taste, optional
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon of fresh lemon zest
  • 15 saltine crackers, crushed fine
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/8 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup of canola or vegetable oil
Instructions

Use a fork to gently break apart the salmon, leaving some small chunks. Add the onion, pepper, Cajun seasoning, Old Bay, parsley and lemon zest; gently toss. Reserve and slice lemon. Add the cracker crumbs, egg and water. Shape into 4 to 6 patties.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium high heat oil and carefully add the patties, cooking until browned; use a fish turner or wide spatula to carefully turn and brown the other side. Drain on paper towels. Serve immediately with a squeeze of fresh lemon.

Cook's Notes: Serve as patties with mashed or fried potatoes potatoes and creamed peas, a mixed garden salad and a fresh tomato pasta side, or serve with green beans, lima beans and a good condiment like Comeback sauce, Remoulade, Cajun mayonnaise, horseradish sauce, or ketchup, or serve on your favorite sandwich or dinner rolls if you prefer. The skin and bones of canned salmon are generally edible, however you can remove them if you prefer, or purchase it without. I use Chicken of the Sea Red Salmon Traditional Style Sockeye and leave the bones in. If you don't have fresh lemon, add a tiny squirt of yellow mustard.

Tip: If you have the time, place the patties in the refrigerator about 30 minutes before cooking.

To Bake: Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and brush with oil or spray with non-stick spray. Place patties on top, dab with oil and bake in a 400 degree F preheated oven, turning once, for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown. May also scoop about 1/3 cup into lightly greased or sprayed muffin tins.

Variations: Substitute fresh cooked salmon, or an equal amount of well drained tuna, mackerel, cooked shrimp or fish, freshly cooked, canned or leftover meats, ham or chicken, or simply cooked, mashed potatoes. If you have leftover mashed potatoes, they also make an excellent binder for fluffier croquettes, or you may also substitute bread crumbs, flour or cornmeal for the saltines. If you like, you may coat the patties with bread crumbs, panko, flour or cornmeal.

Source: http://deepsouthdish.com

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74 comments:

  1. We had tuna patties every Friday.

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  2. these usre look delicious-never had a salmon pattie before, may have to give it a try real soon!! Happy weekend, Anne

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  3. They look perfectly browned and the ingredients sound delicious. I especially like the idea of serving them over pasta. As an aside, Bev still prefers hers from canned salmon - like you hubby, back to childhood memories and I have plenty of my own.

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    1. I love them served with that pasta sauce Larry!

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  4. Funny about your thoughts on how commercials don't use jingles much anymore. In a similar vein yesterday, I was thinking about the same thing with "album covers". With LP's, the album cover was a big deal and a part of the overall creativity. That took a hit when the size was reduced to Compact Disc. Now with mp3 formats delivering the majority of music, the cover is basically non-existent. So all the jingle writers and album cover designers are a dying breed.

    Never thought of using a roast for a croquette, I like that idea since I don't fancy fish.

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    1. That's true Chris! Can you believe that I actually still have a stack of albums in my closet?! No longer have a player for them, but I've still got some actual "vinyl."

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  5. We used to eat these all the time when I was growing up. I have not made them in years. I always picked the bones out. I'm glad you remind us of the foods from yesteryear!! haha! I'm adding a can of salmon to the grocery list!

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  6. My mom made these when I was a kid. I hated them. Can't bring myself to try them again (yuk). BUT...I love you blog and recipes and look forward to each post!

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    1. Thanks so much! You know, I think it all depends on the quality of the canned salmon to be honest. I've had some that were pretty awful. These are not those LOL!!

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  7. I made croquettes in the cone shape when I have access to a deep fryer…. For home use I make them into patties .
    I have used ham and seasoned it with pickle relish like a ham salad
    And even I am sorry to say made them with leftover cooked liver…

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    1. Yeah, I love a well prepared liver and onions, but I'm not too sure about that liver croquette either Rebecca! I"m glad to see somebody else remembers the cones though. :)

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  8. OOhhh this sounds wonderful!! Especially for this lazy Saturday afternoon. However, I am a little nervous about the bones. Can you taste them a lot when you're eating the patties? I kinda want to see if my toddler would eat them, but I am scared about the bones. What do you think Mary?

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    1. The bones get so soft in the canning process that once you mix them in they are not at all detectable, but a lot of people pick them out, or you can also buy the cans that are skinned and de-boned.

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  9. Mary, I thought I was the only one who left the bones in. Most people take them out. I love salmon patties, and when I make them, I always think of my Mom. Thanks for sharing your recipe. By the way, I nominated your blog as my favorite on the web. Your recipes are the kind that make me feel like I'm eating in my own kitchen.

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    1. I always figured they were much like a sardine & hey, I'm all for the extra nutrition! Thank you so much of thinking of me - that's very sweet Toni!

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  10. I also had these as a child. My hubby loves them; I'm okay with eating them because he just goes nuts over them. I, too, leave the bones in. I'm sure my mother did and I learned how to make these from her.
    Love your blog.

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  11. Mary, Thank you so much for sharing this recipe for salmon patties. First of all it is my hands down have fish, secondly, since i'm allergic to shellfish, i can never enjoy crab cakes with everyone, and thirdly this will be perfect for Good Friday. And no, I simply cannot believe how time flies by so darn fast. I'm not ready for Easter at all this year! But I'll think of something! LOL!

    Blessings for Holy Week,
    Hugs,
    Roz xoxoxox

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    1. Hi Roz - nice to see you stranger!! Boy the days just zoom by anymore. Hope you had a wonderful Easter too.

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  12. I save them for days I have little in the house to make for dinner. So, we enjoyed them tonight but have to have mashed potatoes and green peas instead of pasta.

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  13. All I could say is yuuuummmmmy. This is a must try recipe. Thanks for another good flavorful recipe.

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  14. These sounds so good..Gonna head to the store and make them tonight... let the Memories come rushing back..Thank you

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  15. These sounds so good..Gonna head to the store and make them tonight... let the Memories come rushing back..Thank you

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  16. I grew up with tuna patties, but I have done them with salmon myself. My Grandma used to make fish gravy too, do you have a recipe for that?
    Thanks, Nancy

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    1. Can you tell me more about the ingredients? Was it more like a gravy made with fish or more like a stew? White, red? Spicy?

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    2. i made a red spicy gravy with my canned salmon.
      very good!!!!!

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  17. They are also good with Grits, try it you like it.

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  18. Being a southern belle from south ga and sc, I grew up on these and potatoe pancakes. My 80 yr old mother said during the depression in the country it was big stuff to get canned salmon (anything different than the farm grown animals) I like them ok if they are NOT cooked with self rising flour or baking powder/soda which gives it a yeasty fizzy taste and look while it is frying. I can't wait to try mixing it with mashed postatoes and since I love liver I'm going to try that one too. Actually I'm so impressed with your articles I am going to start following you on facebook. Glad my niece introducted you to me. God Bless

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    1. Thank you so much and please also thank your niece for sharing the site. Welcome!!

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  19. Being a southern belle from south ga and sc, I grew up on these and potatoe pancakes. My 80 yr old mother said during the depression in the country it was big stuff to get canned salmon (anything different than the farm grown animals) I like them ok if they are NOT cooked with self rising flour or baking powder/soda which gives it a yeasty fizzy taste and look while it is frying. I can't wait to try mixing it with mashed postatoes and since I love liver I'm going to try that one too. Actually I'm so impressed with your articles I am going to start following you on facebook. Glad my niece introducted you to me. God Bless

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  20. Made crab cakes for dinner with a bowl of homemade clam chowder. Every Friday its either, salmon or tuna cakes. Yummy!

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    1. I do like the way you think Judith! We had catfish today - so good.

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  21. Making them tonight. Sure do bring back good childhood memories. Mmm. can't wait.

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  22. Made this for a Saturday brunch for me and my family, they LOVED IT!! This was my first time making these, made them as the directions suggested, but added a few small things that made these fantastic and needed NO sauce: 3 tbs of mayo (or miracle whip)which helped it keep its form and also kept it from drying, don't like onions so the minced onion worked well for me, and added about 2 tsp of Lawrys seasoning salt.The touch of mustard put that 'ya dig' on it. Thanks!

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  23. Made this for a Saturday brunch for me and my family, they LOVED IT!! This was my first time making these, made them as the directions suggested, but added a few small things that made these fantastic and needed NO sauce: 3 tbs of mayo (or miracle whip)which helped it keep its form and also kept it from drying, don't like onions so the minced onion worked well for me, and added about 2 tsp of Lawrys seasoning salt.The touch of mustard put that 'ya dig' on it. Thanks!

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  24. I am making these for dinner tonight and was wondering if Ritz crackers would work well instead of the saltine crackers. They would add the same amount of crunch, but do you think the buttery flavor would add to the meal or mess it up?

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    1. The Ritz will work find - you're just using the crackers as a binder so there are quite a few alternatives that will work! Enjoy!!

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  25. Food of the gods. My husband and I just love salmon patties. Your recipe is almost identical of the way my Momma always made them as do I. Yum !,is all you can say.

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  26. Question......every time I make patties, mine tend to fall apart before I can even begin cooking them. I have added more egg, less egg, nor crumbs to no avail. Please help me?

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    1. It sounds like the binder. I don't know what you're using, but I'd try something different or either in combination with something different. I use crushed up saltines in mine, but you can use a variety of binders to help them hold together - bread crumbs, panko, flour, cornmeal or even leftover mashed potatoes for the crackers if you prefer. Potatoes make for a fluffier croquette than the other binders.

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  27. my mom made these for us as children and she also made home-made syrup which was delish

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  28. I grew up eating these and I love them still today at age 50! My Mama would use a variety of things as a binder, sometimes crackers, sometimes leftover biscuits and sometimes just plain white bread. My favorite and what I use the most of is the white bread slices. I use 2 or 3 pieces, crust and all. They seem to hold together better for me using the bread! Thanks for all the yummy southern recipes!!!

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    1. You're welcome and thank you for taking the time to leave a sweet note for me!

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  29. Mary,

    I found your recipe and made the patties immediately. They are so delicious! The lemon zest gives it extra flavor. I actually when a step further and added lemon just to the mix.

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  30. Mary,

    I found the recipe and made the patties immediately! They are delicious!

    Thanks,

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  31. My whole family loves these and consider this one of their favorite meals of all time. I do not add onion, just keep them as is with crushed crackers and egg, only. It's so funny how everyone has their own version of sides with specific entrees! If I tried to serve these salmon cakes (as we always called them) without fried potatoes, pork n beans and mac and cheese, my hubby, sons and grandson would probably revolt!! : )

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  32. A a kid we had them for breakfast. They were wonderful.

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  33. my daughter said her boyfriend loves salmon and he is a on the road truck driver she likes to make him dinner,s to take on the road so tonight we are making him samon patties.as 1 of his dinners .as a child had them all the time my family being fr the south but had forgotten how to make them tks to your pg i can do .sharon v.

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  34. I am making salmon patties tonite for the first time.. I'm using this recipe. Will post when I'm done. Cant wait!!!!

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  35. When do you add the water?

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    1. You add the water when you add the cracker crumbs and egg.

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  36. These are wonderful. Made them for dinner tonight and they were just way too good....delicious! Thanks for sharing. I served them with old fashioned mashed potatoes and southern coleslaw...yum!

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    1. Thank you Becky! I'm so glad you enjoyed them!!

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  37. I made these for my brother and myself for dinner tonight. Our mother used to make them when we were kids and neither of us had had them for years. Your recipe is fabulous, much better than the ones Mom made! The only change I made was to use Club crackers instead of saltines.

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    1. Thanks so much! I'm glad that y'all enjoyed them and really appreciate you letting me know!

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