Saturday, July 31, 2010
1. flavoring a dish with curry
2. cooking salmon
3. frying things in hot oil!
But much to my surprise and delight, the recipe I got from Food Network Magazine was fantastic (once I personalized it a little bit) and I'll tweak it a little more next time, but these Curried Salmon Cakes were delicious!
Curried Salmon Cakes with Mango Salad
- 1 lb. skinless salmon fillet, halved crosswise
- 2 tsp. curry powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- tartar sauce (I just used store-bought and it was delicious!)
- 1 1/2 cups cracker meal (I crushed up saltines)
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 2 tbsp. freshly peeled and grated ginger
- 1/2 cup very finely chopped scallions
- 1 large egg
- 1 stalk of celery, thinly sliced
- 1 mango (peeled, pitted and diced)
- 1 lime (for juice)
- vegetable oil for frying
1. Place the salmon, 2 tbsp. water, 2 tsp. curry powder, plus salt and pepper to taste in a microwave-safe dish. I used the spices kind of like a rub on the fish, making sure it was well coated. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and microwave for 2-3 minutes, until the fish is just opaque.
2. Please be careful when you peel the plastic wrap back, as I completely burned 3 fingers on the steam! Let the fish cool for about 5 minutes (so you can easily handle it), then break it up with tongs or a fork until it flakes apart.
3. Once the fish is flaky, add 1 tbsp. of tartar sauce, 1 cup of cracker meal, ginger, scallions, 1 tsp. curry powder and the egg. Form into patties (should be 4-6 depending on how much salmon you use) and then place them in the freezer for 15 minutes to firm up.
4. While the cakes are cooling off in the freezer, you can make the tartar sauce and the mango salad. The tartar sauce is simple...just add about 1 tsp. of curry powder to 7 tbsp. of tartar sauce, whisk well and pop in the fridge. To make the mango salad, combine the chopped mango, red pepper, celery, freshly squeezed lime juice, about a tsp. of salt and 1/2 tsp. of curry. Toss lightly and refrigerate.
5. Now it's time to heat up your oil and take the salmon cakes out of the freezer. You want about 1/4 of an inch of vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet. Heat the oil on medium (you don't want to heat it too fast or it will splatter when you drop the cakes in).
6. While the oil is heating, dredge the cakes in a mixture of 1/2 cup cracker meal and 1 cup flour. Be sure they are completely coated on all sides with the flour mixture before gently placing them in the hot oil.
*Be sure to place them gently - don't drop them in or the oil will splatter and you will once again burn your fingers which are already sore from being burned by the steam in the aforementioned step #2.
7. You want to cook the cakes on each side for about 3-4 minutes. They need to be brown and crispy, so make sure they're completely done on one side before you (again...GENTLY) flip them over.
8. When they are done, scoop them out of the oil onto a paper towel-lined plate to get the last bits of oil off them before serving. Then garnish with lemon wedges and serve alongside the curried tartar sauce and mango salad!
The only things I changed in this recipe before posting it was the amount of green onions (I cut it in half), added more curry powder and added flour to the cracker meal mixture at the end. I also didn't add tartar sauce to the mango salad - Aaron's not a big fan of mayo-based sauces and it honestly sounded icky to me too. The lime juice/curry kick were fantastic on their own in the salad.
I also threw together an easy bruchetta for pre-dinner snacking...
Easy Tomato Bruchetta
- 10 large fresh basil leaves (or 1/2 tsp. dried basil)
- 2 cups chopped tomatoes (seeded)
- 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 cloves of minced garlic
- 1 french baguette (I used 1/2 of one for just me and Aaron)
1. Heat oven to 425 degrees
2. Roll up basil leaves and slice into very fine strips (if using fresh basil), then combine tomatoes, vinegar, basil, salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve (this helps the flavors really combine)
3. Slice baguette into angled 1/4-inch pieces. Combine garlic and olive oil, then brush on bread slices and place on baking pan. Bake 6-8 minutes until golden brown, then top with the tomato mixture and serve.
Surprisingly the tangy-ness of the bruchetta went really well with the Curried Salmon Cakes. It was a fantastic meal and I can't wait to make it again!