Before the coming Season of Birth commences on Monday (aka, my OB rotation), I made salmon cakes for a fancy kiss-KP-and-freetime-goodbye breakfast. Plus, the dish seemed a thematic bridge between the recent holidays spent in the Pacific Northwest, a hotbed of superior salmon cuisine, and the study of brave female spawning which I shall presently undertake. I was highly skeptical of finding good salmon here in Minnesota, but the People’s Co-op had fresh salmon from a farm in Canada. The way they displayed the catch, nothing short of riveting (albeit a false representation of the life experience of a farmed salmon—borrowing the leaping gusto of river salmon, but I’m being critical). Oh by the way, Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for baby brain development, all ye pregnant.
Salmon Potato Cakes with Dill Sauce
Adapted from Food and Wine
2 pounds medium red-skinned potatoes
1 pound skinless wild salmon fillet
Safflower or sunflower oil for greasing and frying (I used sunflower)
Freshly ground pepper
1 bunch scallions (about 6 scallions) coarsely chopped
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon tamari
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1/2 cup plain dry bread crumbs
Dill sauce for serving (recipe below)
1. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large saucepan, cover the potatoes with water. Add a large pinch of sea salt and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately high heat until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and let cool slightly, then peel. Transfer the potatoes to a large bowl and mash.
2. Meanwhile, put the salmon on a lightly oiled rimmed baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. Bake for about 15 minutes, until the salmon is medium-rare inside.
3. Gently flake the salmon and add it to the potatoes along with the scallions, eggs, garlic, ginger, onion, tamari and sesame oil. Mix well, then fold in the bread crumbs. Season with salt. Form the potato mixture into fourteen 1/2-cup patties.
4. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1/4 inch of safflower or sunflower oil until shimmering. Working in batches, fry the potato cakes over moderately high heat until browned and crisp, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a large baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining potato cakes, adding more oil and adjusting the heat as necessary. Bake the salmon cakes for about 15 minutes, until heated through.
Serve with Dill Sauce.
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1/2 a lime (about 1 tablespoon)
1 heaping teaspoon dried dill
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Ooh, baby. These were so good, I felt guilty for eating them for breakfast. I would swim upstream through the Willamette or the Columbia to enjoy them again. I am sincerely hoping that is not what this next rotation will be like, but if so, I’ll be sure the salmon cakes are sizzling in the skillet at the end of it—at home.