|TOPPED WITH A MINT AND BASIL GUACAMOLE|
I've been craving this dish for seven years. That's right. I remember a misty day in Maryland when my dad and I drove to a small town on the coast, and stopped to have lunch in a little cafe nestled in the first floor of a white Victorian home. The town felt deserted, perhaps it was the off-season, or just a rainy weekday, but I can picture us sitting on the enclosed porch overlooking the quaint main street, and I can see myself perusing the menu and selecting for the first time in my life, "Crab cakes please." This was probably one of my first experiences with out-of-the-ordinary, phenomenal food. (I'd never lived in a coastal area with abundant fresh seafood, so crab cakes were new to me.) The flavor was perfect...savory, melt-in-your-mouth perfect. I never ate another seafood cake half as good...until last week. I purchased a container of pre-cooked Wild Alaskan Salmon from Trader Joe's last week (so cheap!) that tasted a bit too much like the plastic container it came in. Yuck. I decided that instead of wasting it, I needed to come up with a recipe that would camouflage that unpleasant flavor without masking the tasty flavor of the fish. Thus, the Salmon Cake was born. (Does anyone else cringe at that phrase? Why can I say "Crab Cake" without blinking, but immediately think of sweet pink confections flavored with fish when I say "Salmon Cake"?) This is definitely one of the best things I've ever made, and it's such a simple formula. Really quick to prepare and cook, and full of all kinds of healthy protein and omega fatty acids to keep my nervous system happy. I'm already looking forward to cooking more of these up tomorrow with tonight's leftover salmon.
SAVORY SALMON CAKES
1 CUP PRE-COOKED SALMON
1/2 CUP LOOSELY PACKED FRESH BASIL
1/2 CUP ROASTED PISTACHIOS
1/2 CUP PUMPKIN SEEDS
1/4 CUP CHICKPEA FLOUR
1/2 TBS FLAXMEAL
1/2 TSP APPLEWOOD SMOKED SEA SALT (any smoked sea salt would surely suffice)
JUICE OF 1/2 A LEMON
1/4 CUP WATER
GRAPESEED OIL FOR FRYING
PUT NUTS, SEEDS, FLOUR, FLAXMEAL AND SALT IN FOOD PROCESSOR AND GRIND TO A MEAL. (MINE WAS A MIXTURE OF FINE AND SEMI-COARSE.) SHRED THE SALMON IF NOT ALREADY AND MIX WITH THE DRY INGREDIENTS ALONG WITH THE BASIL. ADD WATER AND LEMON, AND SHAPE INTO PATTIES. HEAT A GENEROUS AMOUNT OF GRAPESEED OIL IN A PAN ON MEDIUM TO MEDIUM-HIGH HEAT. WHEN OIL IS HOT, PLACE THE PATTIES IN THE PAN AND FRY UNTIL GOLDEN BROWN ON EACH SIDE.
MAKES 4 3-3.5INCH PATTIES