Monday, July 11, 2011

Pass me them cakes, Baby!

Recipes calling for bread crumbs used to keep me from making a host of recipes that sounded good to me. I just didn't think things would taste good with the gluten free alternatives. I soon discovered that there were several options that worked and didn't detract from the flavor of the dish.

I started with Rice Chex. I ground them up into a coarse meal texture and used them in place of breadcrumbs in meatballs, meatloaf and other recipes. Delicious and cheap! One time, though, I found myself with only Corn Chex in the cupboard and the meatballs I made came out tasting (and smelling) vaguely of a pig farm. I don't recommend it.

Since then, I've graduated to whirring up chunks of my Ener-G Light Tapioca bread in my handy-dandy three-cup food processor. It works perfectly and the bread is mild enough that it acts as a binder without adding any additional unwanted flavors.

There are prepackaged gluten-free breadcrumbs but I find them to be beyond my budget. With so many other good options, I opt for making my own.

Which leads me to the perfect vehicle for said crumbs...salmon cakes. I've seen many chefs make crab cakes, salmon cakes, all kinds of cakes, and they all use breadcrumbs, of course. I was determined to try my hand at it as I'd enjoyed many a little tasty crab cake before my unfortunate condition was discovered.

I know, I know...I tend to favor Ina's recipes. I'm sorry, but I just enjoy the fact that she never mucks things up with strange ingredients--it's just good, clean food. (Okay, and I secretly want to BE her.) So I used her recipe for Salmon Cakes and we had them last night. I may have gained several pounds in one sitting because I couldn't stop. Such is often the result when I finally have something for which I've been pining. (Same deal happened with the pie.)

There are a lot of ingredients. So if you shy away from that, I understand, but I would hate for you to miss this! It also involves a lot of chopping, which for some reason I find therapeutic. So hunker down and you'll reap the benefits of this sweet little cake. Doug put his on a hamburger bun with the sauce on top and he said it made a great sandwich. I ate them as is and...yummy!

Salmon Cakes
(Ina Garten's recipe, gluten free comments mine)
with Lemony Horseradish Sauce (recipe mine!)


  • 1/2 pound fresh salmon (I used frozen, thawed, that I already had.)
  • Good olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup small-diced red onion (1 small onion)
  • 1 1/2 cups small-diced celery (4 stalks)
  • 1/2 cup small-diced red bell pepper (1 small pepper)
  • 1/2 cup small-diced yellow bell pepper (1 small pepper)
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce (Frank's Red Hot--I used a bit more cause I like the spicy!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (Lea & Perrins)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons crab boil seasoning (Old Bay)
  • 3 slices stale bread, crusts removed (I used Ener-G Light tapioca in food processor--enough to yield one cup.)
  • 1/2 cup good mayonnaise (Hellmann's Light is a good option.)
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard (Grey Poupon)
  • 2 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Place the salmon on a sheet pan, skin side down. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until just cooked. Remove from the oven and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Allow to rest for 10 minutes and refrigerate until cold.

3. Meanwhile, place 2 tablespoons of the butter, 2 tablespoons olive oil, the onion, celery, red and yellow bell peppers, parsley, capers, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, crab boil seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a large saute pan over medium-low heat and cook until the vegetables are soft, approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

4. Break the bread slices in pieces and process the bread in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. You should have about 1 cup of bread crumbs. Place the bread crumbs on a sheet pan and toast in the oven for 5 minutes until lightly browned, tossing occasionally.

5. Flake the chilled salmon into a large bowl. Add the bread crumbs, mayonnaise, mustard, and eggs. Add the vegetable mixture and mix well. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Shape into 10 (2 1/2 to 3-ounce) cakes. I made mine smaller so I could handle the flipping more easily.

6. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. In batches, add the salmon cakes and fry for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, until browned. (Make sure you wait til they get a really good brown crust on them before you flip--they stay together much better and are more delicious.) Drain on paper towels; (Ina says to keep them warm in a preheated 250 degree F oven and serve hot but I found that my cakes got dark in the oven...maybe try a lower temp.)

Lemony Horseradish Sauce

2 tablespoons Woeber's Horseradish Sandwich Pal (You could use prepared horseradish here--I didn't have any, but I always have some Pal on hand! Add more if you want even more horseradish flavor.)
1/2 cup Hellmann's Light mayonnaise
Juice and zest of one lemon

Mix it all up and dip your little cakes in it or make them larger and serve your cake on a bun. Any which way, you'll love it!

No comments:

Post a Comment