Lannae's Food and Travel

I hope you like my food and travel blog.

January 21, 2008

Jerk Salmon

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.


At 1/21/08, 2:41 PM, Blogger Katie Zeller said...

Well done! I was hungry for crab cakes a while back and made a version with tuna.
Now I can try them with salmon....yum! They look gorgeous!

At 1/21/08, 5:44 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

KatieZ, I hope you do try making salmon cakes. These were good!

At 1/21/08, 5:57 PM, Blogger winedeb said...

Wow, those salmon cakes look so great! And using the spice,too yummy! Since I have some of that in my pantry, I will trying using some in my crab cakes this week. Too funny that you mentioned crab cakes as I bought a really nice can of crab from my fish gal the other day because I saw Tyler Florence do crab cakes and it made me "need some"! I printed out his recipe from that show and it looks wonderful! He also had a Watercress Salad with Roasted Tomato Dressing on that show. OK, now I am starving!

At 1/21/08, 9:59 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Hi WineDeb, the Key Lime Jerk was just perfect for these salmon cakes. I am glad to read that I am not the only one swayed by watching Food TV. Ah, Food TV is doing its job right?

At 1/22/08, 11:22 PM, Blogger burekaboy — said...

very nice ;) sounds like something i'd like. rachel ray? please tell me, no! LOL.

At 1/23/08, 10:13 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Dear Burekaboy, I am glad you saw this post. When I was stirring in the eggs, I thought of one of your potato pancake recipes that I like a lot. About the Rachel Ray thing ;-) LOL, I was actually listening to French language podcasts, and repeating after the teacher while flipping through the tv channels and jogging on the treadmill. I caught about 2 minutes of Rachel Ray while she put a pan, of what looked like crab cakes, into the oven. I was then thinking I would love that for dinner, but made with my salmon fillet. So, it wasn't too much Rachel, just inspired by the image of the pan she had going into the oven.


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