Tuesday, March 30, 2010


If you've got salmon and crackers in your pantry, whip up a batch of these zesty, crunchy-crusted salmon cakes. The lemon and dill work to counteract the "fishy taste" that kids sometime complain about, so the nutritious cakes end up flavorful but mild.
Total time: 20 minutesYield: Serves 4
16 ounces canned salmon, drained, skinned, and boned1 cup cracker meal (about 1/2 sleeve Saltines, crushed fine)1/2 cup Hellman's or Best Foods mayonnaise (not low-fat)1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (optional)The finely grated zest of 1 lemon, plus 2 tablespoons of its juice1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (or half as much table salt)Freshly ground black pepper1 stalk celery, finely chopped, plus some of the leaves, also chopped2 tablespoons fresh dill, finely choppedVegetable oil for fryingTartar sauce, purchased or homemade (see recipe below)Tartar Sauce (Makes a little more than 1 cup):1 cup Hellman's or Best Foods mayonnaise (not low-fat)2 tablespoon lemon juice1 tablespoon finely chopped fill1 tablespoon prepared horseradish1 teaspoon capers1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (or half as much table salt)
1. For the tartar sacue: Whisk ingredients together in a small bowl and chill until serving.
2. Flake the salmon with a fork, then add the cracker meal to the bowl and use your hands to blend it into the fish.
3. Whisk together the mayonnaise, Old Bay, hot pepper sauce, lemon zest and juice, and salt and pepper, then stir it into the fish mixture along with the celery and dill. The mixture should just hold together: Add more cracker meal if it's too wet, or a bit more mayonnaise if it's too dry. Use a 1/3-cup measure to form 8 patties around 3 inches wide and 1 inch thick.
4. Heat 1/4 inch of oil in a large nonstick skillet over moderate heat, until a pinch of the fish mixture sizzles when dropped in the pan. Fry the cakes in a single layer until golden, around 4 minutes per side. Drain on a paper-towel-lined plate and serve with tartar sauce.

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