When I make my Sunday meals, I usually make enough for one to three leftover meals. Sometimes this means just the same meal again. Other times I use whatever is left over as the basis for a new dish.
Note: I know that a bare patty on a plate is not that attractive, but we were hungry. I remembered to snap this just before it disappeared.
My Desk Top is getting cluttered with photos of leftovers dishes that I have made and not posted. I decided to do a series of short post about these dishes. Not so much as recipes, but as ideas of ways to use your own leftovers.
Several weeks ago, I made Salmon with Leeks. I had used a 3 pound fillet, so there was almost a pound of meat left over after everyone had eaten their fill. While I have done salmon patties from scratch before, this was enough well seasoned fish for a weekday main dish.
Salmon cake is simply another form of hash—meat and starch mixed together. In this case heavy on the meat and light on the starch. The panko and egg act mostly as a binder to keep the fish in one piece.
Karl’s Leftovers: Salmon Cake
1 lb. cooked salmon
½ cup cooked leeks and “salmon jelly”
½ cup panko
1. Remove the skin and flake the salmon into one inch or smaller pieces and place them in a medium bowl.
Tip: You want to retain the salmons texture, not mash it into salmon paste. If you like the skin you may choose to mince the skin and add it to the salmon.
Note: Reserve as much of the “salmon jelly” and leeks as you can. I had cooked my salmon over a bed of leeks. I scraped off as much of the leeks and jelled salmon juices as I could.
2. Coarsely chop the leeks and add them to the salmon.
3. Lightly scramble the egg.
4. Add the egg and panko to the salmon and leeks and gently fold them together well.
Tip: Try not to mash the salmon flakes into a paste.
Note: You may notice that this recipe does not contain any added seasonings. The salmon, leeks, and “jelly” retained enough from their former life as a broiled salmon.
5. Put some parchment paper in a shallow lipped baking tray and Pam your patty form.
Tip: I bought a metal ring for cooking perfectly round fried eggs. This device turns out to be an ideal form for making patties.
6. Put the salmon mixture in the refrigerator and let it rest for 15-20 minutes.
Tip: This give the panko a chance to fully hydrate and do its binding thing.
7. Use a spatula to firmly press about half of a cup of salmon mix into the form and then gently pull away the form.
Tip: Do this directly on the parchment paper in the tray, so that you do not have to move the patty after its formed.
Note: This recipe makes about 6 patties and after two or three patties you may need to re-Pam the form.
8. Put the tray in the oven and broil the patties, on the middle rack, for about four minutes.
Tip: I have found that broiling is much better than frying for cooking delicate hash patties. The overall heat of the oven firms the patties better than the one directional heat of a frying pan. As a result, the patties are more fully cooked and easier to flip without breaking.
9. Flip the patties and broil the second side until well browned and crispy, about another 3-4 minutes.
Tip: You want them well browned and crispy on the outside, but not burnt.
10. Serve warm.
Note: Serving suggestions:
a. Serve one patty with an egg on top for breakfast.
b. Place the patty on a hamburger bun and add all of the fixings for a great fish sandwich.
c. Serve two patties with a green salad for dinner.