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recipe: salmon cakes

November 1, 2010

I love seafood. Any chance it’s available, I will probably eat it. Fish – baked, fried or steamed; as a fillet or with the head still attached to it (no worries, I don’t eat the head nor the eyes but those things don’t bother me). Mussels or clams, shrimp and squid! I’m still working on liking scallops and oysters. Oh, and sashimi. But overall, I can eat seafood and have no problems with it.

On that note, plus in my attempts at cooking regularly again, I finally used a recipe out of a $2 cookbook I found at TJ Maxx – Eat Well Live Well with High Cholesterol: Low-cholesterol recipes and tips by Karen Kingham. Don’t worry, this isn’t an all-you-can-eat-fried-food book. Actually, it explains the difference between LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol aka the bad stuff and HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol aka the good stuff. According to the book:

“LDL’s main job is to take cholesterol from the liver to the body cells where it is needed. Too much LDL causes a build-up of cholesterol on the inside of blood vessel walls which is not good for your health.”

“HDL is the cholesterol you want to have more of. HDL tidies up excess cholesterol, picking it up from your blood vessels and taking it back to your liver.”

Now, what exactly IS cholesterol?

“Cholesterol is a waxy, fatty substance made naturally, in amounts determined by your genetic make-up, by the liver. We all need a certain amount of cholesterol to make hormones, coat our nerve cells so signals travel properly, and form the outer membranes of our body’s cells. Cholesterol is not bad for us when we have it in the right amounts.

Our body also gets small amounts of cholesterol from the foods we eat, such as shellfish, meat, chicken, eggs, butter, cheese and whole milk. Foods with saturated and trans fats can upset the body’s cholesterol balance by causing your liver to make more cholesterol than it otherwise would.

Because cholesterol is a fat and can’t dissolve in the blood, it must get to and from the cells via transporters or carriers known as lipoproteins, of which there are two types.”

LDL or HDL cholesterol.

Now, I’ve said this time and again – I’m not THE healthiest eater but I AM trying to find ways to eat healthier. (If you’re on FB, please ignore the fact that I had two tiny Halloween cupcakes and a granola bar for breakfast. mmmkaythanks.) Asides from the occasional treats (which occurs more often than I’d like), we really do try to eat well. So here you go! A recipe from “Eat Well Live Well”:

Salmon Cakes
(renamed and slightly adapted)

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Ingredients:

  • 3 skinned potatoes*
  • 3/4 cup cooked white rice*
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned, uncooked oats
  • one 14.75 oz canned pink salmon, deboned and one packet 2.6 oz pouch of the same kind salmon (both made by Chicken of the Sea)***
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 spring onions (scallions), green parts chopped
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp sweet chili sauce
  • 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs*
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten, extra
  • 2 cups dry breadcrumbs (may need a bit more)
  • vegetable oil cooking spray
  • lemon wedges, to serve

1. Boil potatoes in a big pot. Once the potatoes are tender, drain the water and mash the potatoes. Set aside.
2. Mix well the potatoes, cooked riced, oats, salmon, 1 egg, scallions, lemon juice, chili sauce and fresh breadcrumbs into a large bowl. Season with ground black pepper.
3. Put the two other slightly beaten eggs into a bowl and the dry breadcrumbs into another bowl – this is your dipping station.
4. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
5. Take the salmon mixture and form patties, roughly 2 inches in diameter. Dip each salmon cake into the egg bowl, then into the breadcrumb bowl and place on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper.
6. Lightly spray the salmon cakes with your cooking spray and cook the salmon cakes in the over for 30 minutes, until crisp or heated through. I flipped each cake over at the fifteen minute mark so each side was crisp. Serve the salmon cakes with lemon wedges.

Notes.
*potatoes – I skinned 3 whole potatoes and boiled them. I should have cut them into smaller pieces (like the recipe said to do!) so that the boiling time would have been shorter.
*rice – I only had white rice available. Next time I will use brown rice, or even other kinds of grains like kasha or quinoa.
***salmon – what possessed me to buy two separate packages of salmon? I don’t know. I blame it on moving exhaustion. The recipe called for a 15 oz can. I could only find the 14.75 oz can so I just picked up a packet to make up for the remaining ounces. Who knows?! Anyways, the canned salmon still has bones so it took a while to debone it. Next time, I’m either only buying the salmon packets, already deboned, or cooking fresh salmon in the oven.
*fresh breadcrumbs – I took fresh to mean using the stale (not moldy) bread that I had. Used 1 slice and just tore it into pieces to save time. Next go around of this recipe, I’ll use my food processor to make smaller pieces that actually resemble crumbs.
Extras – The recipe was a bit bland. It did not call for salt, which I’m usually in support of, because most food is high in sodium. Unfortunately, I think this one time, the recipe could have used some salt. Or, I may add more of the sweet chili sauce. Either way, it needed a bit more ooomph. Thankfully the salmon cakes were not bad – we squeezed fresh lemons on it and it was perfectly good then. Serve it with a side salad and you’re all set.
PS – I bet this recipe would be better with fresh baked salmon!
PPS – This recipe yielded 32 salmon cakes. I cooked 15 and froze the rest of the uncooked but prepared salmon cakes. It DID take a while to prep and make so I’m glad I have lots of leftovers. If I’m craving some seafood, I’ll just pop some cakes in the oven (or if I’m feeling a little naughty, haha, I’ll fry them up in olive oil).

Hope you try this recipe – improvise and enjoy!

PPPS – Do you like seafood? What’s your favorite seafood recipe?

my messy new kitchen! I have room to spread out my mess!

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