Sunday, December 2, 2012

What to Do with Leftover Salmon...

... Make salmon cakes, of course!

While last year I made these with panko breadcrumbs, this year, my new gluten-free lifestyle has forced me to think outside the box and find another binding agent that will work - and taste good. My new go-to favorite, millet, is the perfect fit. It's not as cumbersome as quinoa (which has bitter saponins which I find to be a time-consuming pain to rinse off), and when I make a big batch, substitutes for my morning oatmeal (another no-go).

Salmon cakes aren't as tricky to make as you might think. Fish. Binding agent. A bit of mayo or oil. Flavorings, like cayenne, cumin, bacon, scallions, herbs, mango... the sky is the limit. And some rice flour for dredging, to ensure the cakes don't stick to your pan. Here's a quick and easy recipe that is sure to become a family favorite in no time, be it for cocktail parties or at dinner.

Easy Gluten-Free Salmon Cakes

1 pound cooked salmon, such as this maple-bacon salmon
1 cup cooked millet, more if desired
1/2 cup finely chopped scallions
Salt, to taste
Pinch of cayenne
Pinch of paprika

1/4 cup mayonnaise, more if needed
2 tablespoons mustard
Rice flour, for dredging 
Oil, for cooking

In a medium bowl, combine the salmon and millet and stir well until the mixture is well combined and fish is flaked apart. Add scallions and seasonings and mix well. Add mayonnaise and mustard and mix well. Taste mixture for seasoning, and to see if you need more mayo or millet (it will depend on how moist - or not moist - your ingredients are).

Form mixture into 2-inch patties. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a cast-iron skillet over high heat. Meanwhile, dredge the patties in flour. When almost smoking, add the patties, lower the heat to medium-high, and cook until golden and crisp, about five minutes. Flip and cook 4-5 minutes more.

Serve immediately with herbed aioli, honey-mustard mayonnaise, or a hearty salad.

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