Thursday, September 24, 2015

Salmon patties with dill sauce

PK went to Alaska for six days earlier this month and returned triumphant with close to 75 (!!) pounds of fish, about two-thirds salmon and the rest, halibut. He wasn't beating his chest in the least. Except for the day he and his buddies fished for halibut on the open ocean amidst 18-foot swells in a small boat, he claims catching fish was easy. Even I could do it!
Salmon patties are a tasty use for leftover salmon.
Figuring all his costs, including his wading outfit and fishing gear, flight, lodging, and strong drink, the fish now filling our freezer cost about $40 a pound. Not counting the fun he had catching it.

He's been home a couple weeks now,  and we've barbecued salmon on the Traeger twice, and also smoked a couple of fillets. Both times I've made salmon cakes or patties or burgers or croquettes or whatever you want to call them, with the leftovers. They were a hit with guests, and we liked them, too.

I bet I read 20 recipes before one landed fortuitously in my day's email via the Inspiralized blog. My recipe is based on that one, but borrows bits and pieces from numerous other sources and ingredients that seemed like they'd fit. I was cooking for four, but this amount made six generous patties. The recipe can be scaled back for smaller amounts of fish.

The second batch included a salmon fillet that PK brined and smoked in the Traeger. Somehow the proportions of salt vs. sugar for the brine got reversed and the "smoked salmon" was salty enough to melt road ice. It worked well, however, mixed with plain grilled salmon for salmon patties made without additional salt.

In addition to the cooked fish, the recipe includes celery, garlic, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, bread crumbs, scallions,  jalapeno pepper, an egg, and celery salt  or smoked salt.

Whirr up most of the ingredients in a food processor before adding the salmon.
Flaked salmon ready to mix in.

Process the salmon it in pulses to make sure it doesn't get mushy.

Fry in olive or other oil. A cast iron pan works better for me than non stick.

Cooling on a wire rack, salmon patties may be eaten cold or hot. They can also be frozen, but put waxed paper or foil between the patties. 

Simple early fall supper- salmon patties and Caprese salad. 

Salmon patties

1 1/2 pound of cooked salmon, skin, bones and dark stuff removed
4 teaspoons dijon mustard
1 1/2 tsp celery salt, or to taste
4 -5 finely chopped garlic cloves
2-3 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh dill
1 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed, finely chopped (optional)
1/2 stalk celery, finely chopped (use the leafy end)
1/2 cup dried sprouted grain bread crumbs (or any other bread crumbs)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 large egg or 2 medium
1 tablespoon lemon zest
chili pepper flakes to taste
4 or 5 scallions, chopped, including the green part

Roughly chop or tear apart the cleaned-up salmon. Chop the scallions, including some of the green part. Set aside.
Process the dill weed and the garlic in a food processor until finely chopped. Add the other ingredients, except the salmon and the scallions, and process. Add the salmon and pulse until well mixed but not into a slurry.

Mix in the chopped scallions by hand.

Form patties and fry in olive oil (or other oil) until cooked through slightly browned. Serve hot or cold with dill sauce.

Amped-up Caprese salad.

Got a great salmon or halibut recipe? PLEASE send it either via comments or email me: Thanks!

Amped-up Caprese Salad

There's no such thing as a bad Caprese salad, unless, of course, the tomatoes are mealy out-of-season gagging units purchased at the supermarket. So the first ingredient is great tomatoes.

After that, there are a couple of things that can levitate your Caprese: smoked salt and balsamic glaze.
This salad fills a dinner plate and is ample for two people. It occupied about half a plate in a recent supper for two that featured only Caprese  salad and salmon patties. At our house, that''s plenty.

A huge Brandywine was enough for a Caprese salad for two.
Amped-up Caprese Salad

1 huge or 2 large-medium fresh garden tomatoes, sliced
fresh mozzarella
balsamic glaze*
olive oil
fresh basil leaves
smoked salt* (or not)

Slice tomatoes and arrange on a plate. Tip plate to drain before proceeding. Slice cheese and place a slice or two on each tomato. Salt with smoked salt, or regular salt if you lack smoked. Tear the basil, slice into strips, or apply as whole leaves atop the tomatoes. Drizzle lightly with extra virgin olive oil. Then top with a drizzle of balsamic glaze (the most important part!) 

*Smoked salt can be purchased in bulk in rural southern Oregon grocery stores so I imagine it's available most anywhere. 
*Balsamic glaze can be purchased at Trader Joe's and likely elsewhere.

Salmon patties with dill sauce

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Best Damn Salsa!

Revised September 23, 2017
Here's PK a few years back with a great pepper harvest. For salsa, we use the mixed color sweet peppers on the right combined with lots of the red hot peppers. 

I'm on a roll here with recipies to use up gargantuan garden harvests Here's one for a great salsa. If you don't have a garden bordering on obscene, then head to the nearest farmers' market. You can halve the recipe to make about 8 pints. Otherwise, clear your shelves for 16 - 17 pints.
Just out of the canning pot, 2015's salsa. I love the brilliant color and the crisp pops of sealing jars and the promise of easy tangy salsa throughout  the winter. 
Roma-type tomatoes are best for making canned salsa.
We have a half dozen salsa recipes in our canning binder, but this is the one that keeps stocking our pantry, year after year. We've tweaked it many times. It's hot, but not too hot. Sweet, but not too sweet. We've named it after the people who passed it along, Jack and Lois Harris. With numerous refinements over the years we call it:

Jack and Lois Salsa Suprema
16 cups cored and diced  Roma-type tomatoes (you can remove skins first by dipping tomatoes in boiling water, letting them cool and slipping off the skins. We no longer bother doing this.)
3-4 cups chopped green peppers (8-12 medium peppers)
8 cups chopped onions, not sweet
8 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped. A few habaneros and other peppers may be added to spice it up
11/2 cups tomato paste (2 small cans)
15 oz can tomato soup (no water)
2 cans whole kernel corn, drained
1 or 2 can black beans, rinsed and drained (we use 1 can)
6 T garlic chili sauce
6 T serrano sauce (or Sriracha sauce)
1.5 cups white vinegar
4 T sugar
4 T salt
8 tsp garlic powder
2 T cayenne pepper

Note: This recipe requires two large soup-type pots. Measure the ingredients and divide between the pots. After simmering for an hour or more, you will be able to combine the two batches for canning.

Rinse the tomatoes, remove core, cut into large chunks and drain in a colander for a few minutes. Pulse the tomatoes in a food processor or blender until roughly chopped, then dump into your two pots.  Divide and add the other ingredients.

Cook uncovered for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring frequently. Can in a water bath canner for 15 minutes, timing after water reaches a rolling boil. Or use a pressure cooker, which is what we do.
With a pressure cooker, you can stack the pints and get it all done in one batch. Follow the directions provided for your pressure cooker. (After venting steam for 10 minutes after the pressure gauge pops up, place the weight over the steam vent and process until the pressure comes up to 10. Turn off heat and leave it alone until the pressure gauge falls down.)
Seventeen pints came from this recipe. Yowsers! Lots of work, lots of love. Lots of chips.