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.
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, I serve these 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. And then, lookie here y'all what I found one day!


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, only as needed to moisten. 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 {affil link} 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 for us are often creamed, 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 and a good sauce for dipping. Comeback sauce, Remoulade, Cajun mayonnaise, horseradish sauce, or ketchup, are all good. Some other good sides to consider would be macaroni and tomatoes, mac and cheese, stewed tomatoes, fried okra, grits, creamed corn, turnip greens, creamed spinach, southern style green beans, fried cabbage, butter beans, and soup beans are some good sides. These also make perfectly good sandwiches or they can be served over pasta!

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

For more of my southern favorites, visit my page on Pinterest!





Posted by on March 30, 2012
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