I believe we never got a proper introduction to each other. Hi, I’m Colleen and I’m a foodaholic. Nice to meet you. I don’t mean to say that I sit on the couch in front of the TV every day mindlessly shoving potato chips and chocolate into my mouth; although I must say, I have probably, on more than one occasion, spent my day in front of the TV watching the Food Network or Cooking Channel. That’s the kind of foodaholic I am.
I like to see food. I like to smell food. I like to taste food. But, most of all, I love to cook food. But, I am not about ready to join some twelve-step program to get rid of this addiction; it’s with me to stay.
I can’t remember ever not loving food. As soon as I discovered the art of cooking, or baking for that matter, I was hooked for better or worse. But, enough about that! Like I said, my name is Colleen and I’m 19 years old, 20 in a few months. I’m a college student double majoring in chemistry and Spanish. My favorite food has to be tortellini but I’d be willing to eat most things put in front of me. That is, besides Brussel sprouts.
My favorite vegetable is asparagus. My favorite fruit is bananas. But, above all, I love anything carb-y. For now, until the next school year starts, I live with my mom, dad, and sister. Oh, and I’m a proud Aunt of a 2-year-old Yorkie named Nina.
Anyhow, let’s get to the recipe, right? But, why salmon croquettes? I tend to fall into these phases when I can’t think of anything to make for a family dinner; even looking through cookbooks, nothing looks good enough or right for dinner. Then, I remember things that my dad used to make when my sister and I were younger and my mom was still working: sun-dried tomato pasta, huevos rancheros, Caesar salads
But, I usually don’t remember his salmon croquettes, no matter how yummy they were. That is, I didn’t remember them until yesterday, when, for some reason, they suddenly popped into my brain and I could not for the life of me think of anything else.
Unfortunately, my dad was out of town yesterday, so I could not ask him to make them for me or for his recipe. So, I took a stab at it and ended up with something that closely rivaled if not surpassed my childhood memories.
So, without further adieu, the recipe:
Adapted from Ina Garten
½ pound salmon
Salt and pepper
4 tbsp. butter
1 small red onion, diced
4 celery stalks, diced
2 small bell peppers, diced
1 tbsp. capers, drained and chopped
½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. salmon seasoning or Old Bay
3 slices bread
½ c. mayonnaise
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 large eggs, beaten
1 c. cornflake crumbs (used above) or panko breadcrumbs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Place salmon skin side down on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper. Drizzle oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake in oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until cooked through. Remove to a plate, cover with foil, and cool to room temperature. Place in fridge until cold.
Heat 2 tbsp. butter and 2 tbsp. olive oil in a large sauté pan to medium low heat. Add onion, celery, bell peppers, capers, Worcestershire sauce, and salmon seasoning. Cook for 15 minutes, or until completely cooked through, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a separate bowl and allow to cool to room temperature.
Place bread in a food processor and grind until a crumb-consistency. Spread on a baking sheet and place in the preheated oven for about 5 minutes, until golden, stirring once.
Remove the salmon from the refrigerator and flake into a large bowl. Add mayonnaise, mustard, eggs, vegetable mixture, and breadcrumbs. Gently mix until thoroughly combined. Cover and chill for about 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
Shape the chilled salmon mixture into 8-10 small disks. Gently cover both sides with cornflake crumbs or panko breadcrumbs. The cakes may look as if they will fall apart, but the breadcrumbs will help to hold everything together.
Heat the remaining 2 tbsp. butter and 2 tbsp. olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium heat. Fry the salmon croquettes for about 4 minutes on each side, or until a hard golden brown crust is achieved. Transfer to paper towels. If necessary, work in batches and cover the cooked croquettes with foil while waiting for the others.