Friday, June 20, 2014

Apéritif Friday - Salmon Patties and a non-Apéritif

When we started our first Whole30, I obsessed with never repeating a dinner for the entire month. I was out to prove to myself and my family that eating real food would not sacrifice variety or taste. While pouring over the book It Starts with Food by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig, I came across their "No-Fuss Salmon Cakes" recipe. While it sounded tasty to me, I simply could not imagine adhering to the canned salmon and sweet potato ingredients. So I created my own version, and held my breath while my family took a taste.

They rejoiced. They raved. They gobbled up the entire tray and asked for more. It was the only meal I repeated in the 30 days, per their request. I made them at my mother-in-law's house for a party of seven as an appetizer. Two family members requested the recipe.

This is on rotation in our house. And when I say I'm making them, everyone shows up for dinner. They are great as an appetizer, as an entree with a couple of vegetables, or in the early afternoon for brunch with a hockey player.

Mr. Musky loves them leftover, chopped up with scrambled eggs. It sounds weird, but they are absolutely divine as a breakfast food. Here's how I make them:

Salmon Patties  

2 wild caught sockeye salmon filets, about 12 ounces (NOT farm raised! Yuck!)
1 cup sweet potato, cooked
1 egg
1/2 cup almond flour
2 green onions, sliced thinly (white and green parts)
2 T chopped fresh parsley
2 T chopped fresh dill
1 tsp hot pepper sauce
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Ghee or Coconut Oil, melted

Slice the skin off the salmon filets by holding on to the skin with one hand as you slide your knife blade at a 45 degree angle where the skin meets the flesh, salvaging as much of the fish as possible. Chop the fish into small pieces and add to a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients (except the ghee) and mix thoroughly.
Welcome your sweet prince to the land of the living - something that occurs around 10:00 daily for a few weeks before summer camp begins. Oh the life of a teenager.
These cakes form best when chilled, so look down at your adoring pooch and ask him, "Wanna go for a walk while the salmon sits in the fridge?"
I just love the Wanna Go look. It slays me every time. Even if he can't walk very far anymore, the look is worth it every single time.

After a 20 minute walk, preheat the oven to 425 degrees, melt some ghee and brush it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Using a 1/3 cup measuring scoop, form the salmon mixture into patties and lay them on the baking sheet. Mine were about 2-2.5 inches in diameter and about 1/2 inch thick.
Brush the tops with more ghee, then place in the preheated oven to bake. After 20 minutes flip each patty and bake for 10 minutes more. I turned the broiler on after 30 minutes and watched them closely. I like a very slight char on mine, which only takes a minute or two under the broiler.

Aaahhhh. Brunch is served.
Loving greens these days, I sautéed some spinach in bacon grease with a bit of chopped garlic and a squeeze of lemon as the bed for my patties to rest upon. But they still looked like they were missing something.

Mmmmmm. Now we're talking. My version of jacked up tartar sauce. Earlier in the week I made Baconnaise. It's as ridiculous as it sounds. It's homemade mayonnaise, but made with bacon fat instead of olive oil. Here's a recipe. To that, I added fresh dill, a little garlic powder, diced cornichons, and a few diced capers. When I topped the salmon with my concoction,
crazy, delicious ooziness infused the patties. That baconnaise tartar sauce melted all over them, seeping its goodness into what already is a fan favorite in our house. There'll be more of this stuff in our future, as surely demanded by my brunch partner for the day.
Note there's no spinach on his plate. Nor have I detailed the apéritif for this post. That's because we dined at about 1:00 last Friday, thanks to hockey playoffs. I'm now that mom. I let a sport rule my life and calendar, but not the food that goes into the gullet of my son. You don't want to eat your vegetables? Fine. You can drink them. Check out my birthday gift.
The Blendtec. A five-sided, whirring, pulverizing wonder machine. For a Green Machine Smoothie guaranteed to inject energy into any hockey playing, veggie adverse teenager, I add 1-2 leaves of Kale (minus the tough stalk), 6-7 strawberries, one frozen banana and 8-10 ounces of unsweetened almond milk to the wonder blender. 
Hit smoothie, and watch magic unfold. The trick to get a picky eater to try this? Blindfold him on the first try. DO NOT let him see the color of the smoothie, but make him take a sip. Ask him what he tastes. Strawberry-banana will undoubtedly be his answer. It works like a charm. When he did finally see the color he balked, but I promised him he'd play better.
And thank the stars of irony, he had one of the best games of his life after his first Green Machine Smoothie. He's hooked. It takes him about an hour, but the kid will suck this down and claims that it gives him all kinds of superhero energy on the ice. It's quickly become a ritual before every practice and game. I'm just thrilled that he's getting a solid dose of greens on a semi-regular basis.
My (non) apéritif for our little lunch made use of a mistake I made a few days earlier while using my new toy. I pureed some watermelon and froze it in little ice cube trays, in the hopes of making a frozen watermelon cocktail. The cocktail sucked. It was horrible. Not sure what to do with the remaining watermelon ice cubes, I simply plopped a couple into a fancy glass filled with water, and viola! Tasty water that actually got better with every sip as the cubes melted and infused the water with a slightly sweet, refreshing flavor.

We finally arrived to our version of summer this week. Both kids are tucked safely away at their respective camps, one a Counselor in Training, the other one of the older campers having the time of his life. We are relishing the sound of silence, enjoying some time with good friends, and looking forward to a little vacation in the coming week. More to come!

Try these Salmon Patties. Especially if you're on the Whole30. You'll crave them for the rest of your life. I promise.


1 comment:

  1. Sounds delicous and I will have to get the stuff to make this next month. Even Braden said it sounds good!!