Something most of us grew up with was salmon croquettes. Pan fried salmon, vegetable, herb and breadcrumb golden goodness with a big glob of tartar sauce to smear on them. It was simple goodness way back when salmon was much less than today’s $5.00 a can!
Several years ago, I took friends to a very nice, but sadly now defunct, restaurant, to celebrate their engagement. They are good, sweet people from a small Texas town that boasts all of two cafes. He gets to travel in his job and has been to some nice places. Her job keeps her pretty much in their town and her dining experiences are limited. It was my pleasure to provide a big city-treat.
I suggested a grilled salmon dish with a pineapple and jalapeño sauce. The young lady was impressed with the restaurant and the menu. She enjoyed the salmon, but the sauce was a little spicy for her. She finally said, “My, that was good! I ain’t never had salmon excep’ in croquettes before.” I sometimes use those very words when enjoying new salmon recipes at home or on the town. It preserves a good memory of a very nice evening reminds me how it was growing up in a small town.
I thought of them and that night when I ran across a recipe for salmon cakes and arugula salad. It sounded good and decided to give it a try. No celery and chopped onion and bread crumbs croquettes in this one. And no iceberg lettuce and tomato salad. These cakes had gone to town!
SALMON CAKES AND ARUGULA SALAD
20 ounces canned skinless, boneless pink salmon
1/4 cup whole-wheat panko breadcrumbs
2 tbsp plus 1 1/2 tsp grainy mustard, divided
2 tbsp light mayonnaise
1½ tbsp chopped dill, divided
1 tbsp plus 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped shallot
2 tsp capers, chopped
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/4 cup 2-percent-fat Greek yogurt
2 tbsp lemon juice, divided
2 cups baby arugula
Lemon wedges, for serving
Heat oven to 400°. Drain salmon and flake into a bowl; stir in breadcrumbs, 2 tablespoons mustard, mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon dill, 1 tablespoon shallot and capers until well combined.
Form into 8 patties (1/3 cup each); let rest 5 minutes. In a large, ovensafe pan over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil; cook patties until golden brown, 4 minutes per side. Transfer to oven and bake until hot to the touch, 10 to 12 minutes. In a bowl, combine yogurt, 1 tbsp lemon juice and remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons mustard, 1/2 tablespoon dill and 1/2 teaspoon shallot; season with salt and black pepper.
Toss arugula with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and salt and pepper. Serve salmon cakes with yogurt sauce, arugula salad and lemon wedges.Note: I used a 14 ounce can of salmon to make four cakes. I reduced the ingredients for the cakes by an eyeballed 15 – 20% and they turned out fine.