Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Frozen Salmon Dilemma

We read an article recently about the dangers and disadvantages of farmed fish; afterward, we vowed to only eat wild-caught fish. Unfortunately, wild fish are expensive, and there's still the problem with overfishing.... What to do if you love fish? I'm not sure. I guess all things in moderation. I was at Trader Joe's a few weeks ago and saw Wild Alaskan Salmon on sale. I called D and asked if I should pick a few packages up, and I think he was distracted and work and said: "why not?" Well, frozen fish is simply just not something he does, having worked at a fish restaurant in the past, so he was not pleased with the purchase when he saw it: there was freezer burn, the color wasn't right, the texture wasn't right.... Back into the freezer went those fish, and I spent some time thinking about what to do with them. I ate one piece when he was out of town (it tasted fine to me), but then found this recipe from Eating Well (Winter 2004). I modified it a little bit, and the results were delicious.

Salmon Cakes with Creamy Yogurt-Dill Sauce

1 lb salmon
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 minced garlic cloves
1.4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tbsp teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 cup fresh whole-wheat or unseasoned breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
olive oil
Creamy Dill Sauce (recipe follows)
1 lemon, cut into wedges

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spread or spray a light coating of olive oil on a baking sheet. Set aside. Heat olive oil in a cast iron frying pan and saute the onions and garlic until the begin to brown. Remove them from the heat. Flake the salmon into small pieces with a fork. Mix in parsley, mustard, egg, and pepper. When the onions have cooled a bit, mix those in and add the breadcrumbs. Shape the mixture into 8 equally-sized patties. Heat some more olive oil in the pan over medium heat. Add 4 patties and cook until the undersides are golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a wide spatula, turn them over onto the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining patties. Bake the salmon cakes until golden on top and heated through, 15 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare Creamy Dill Sauce. Serve salmon cakes with sauce and lemon wedges. We served ours on a bed of wilted baby spinach, pan-fried tomatoes, and a half an ear of corn.

Creamy Yogurt-Dill Sauce

1 cup yogurt
2 tbsp mayonnaise (optional)
3 diced garlic cloves
3 tbsp chopped fresh dill
season with salt and pepper

Mix together, chill, and serve over salmon cakes.

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