I am not impressionable at all. Not at all. Nothing on the TV sways me to buy or eat certain things. (Note, there is sarcasm in that typing.) Well, I was at the gym yesterday jogging on the treadmill for a couple hours, and the gym has TVs set up with all the treadmills. What I was doing was switching between Home and Garden, Travel and Food TV stations. I stopped on Rachel Ray, and it looked like she was making baked crab cakes. Oh, do I like crab cakes. About 10 years ago I was up in Baltimore, Aberdeen and Annapolis, Maryland, I tried crab cakes from various restaurants every day I was there. At the time, there was a new restaurant just north of Aberdeen that had the best crab cakes because it was a lot of the crab body meat, no crackers or bread filling, and a light spicy seasoning to it. I was thinking about those crab cakes as I watched the Food TV show.
The wheels started turning in my head, and I wanted to make crab cakes. Luckily there is a good grocery store near my gym, so I was going to buy canned crab meat (I live land locked surrounded by 8 states, and there is no fresh seafood here) and go home to make crab cakes. I thought that canned crab meat isn't good, so what could I use that would be good. I remembered that I had a salmon fillet in the freezer, so I was now thinking about salmon cakes made in the crab cake tradition. I also decided on spicing my salmon cakes with the lovely Key Lime Jerk seasoning that Deb's Key West Wine and Garden gave to me during the spice exchange. Yes, a slight deviation from the Old Bay Seasoning, but well worth the taste.
The other things I had at home already were locally grown shitake mushrooms, garlic and onions. I had some dried thyme that I grew last year and dried. I also had some locally grown crushed red peppers that I dried for use during the winter. I had a 2 day old stale piece of focaccia from the Provence bakery, which I thought would be a nice binder. I thought all these things would go well in my salmon cakes.
First, I diced up the mushrooms, garlic, onions and focaccia and added them to a bowl with thyme, crushed red pepper, and the Key Lime Jerk seasoning. I wanted to add the onion and mushrooms in because I had them on hand, and because they add moisture to a salmon cake. Salmon can be really dry with a dry texture I dislike, so I was thinking about adding moisture filled delights to the salmon cake. Boy, this dish was smelling really good, and I had not cooked one thing yet.
Second, I chipped up the cooked salmon fillet that I had marinated in the Key Lime Jerk seasoning then cooked. I added the chipped salmon into the bowl. I added a couple locally grown and pastured chicken eggs into the mix, and stirred. I may have added too much egg, but I wasn't sure if the dry ingredients would bind together without enough egg. Also, the eggs help add to a moist texture to help off-set the dry texture from the fish and the focaccia. I then used two table spoons to make croquette shaped blobs that I placed in a frying pan. I used my spatula to flatten the cakes, and cooked them like pancakes.
Ta da, the pan fried salmon cakes! They have a slight hot spicy kick to them, and the aroma from the Key Lime Jerk seasoning is scrumptious. They are good to be eaten straight, and as a sandwich. I put a salmon cake into a pita bread with lettuce, and it was very good that way.
Ok, so I am a bit impressionable from good looking food images on TV, but at least it inspired me to try making salmon cakes from all the ingredients I had in my house already. I was a little nervous while making the salmon cakes because I did not know if it would turn out tasty. I have never made a salmon cake, crab cake, nor salmon croquette before. I have had institutional salmon croquettes (bad school food) and they were tasteless, dry, fish bone infused deep fried things. I disliked them greatly. I had no idea if I was making something I disliked greatly, or making something that I would like to eat. If I did not like it, I was feel so bad for wasting food, so I was hoping a lot that the salmon cakes would be good. Thank goodness this was one food experiment that worked out.