I write this as I sip New Amsterdam gin and Kool-Aid. It was that kind of day.
It starts with me waking up around 3:45 a. m. after going to sleep at 9:15 p. m. Not a problem until I get sleepy at 4:55 a.m. knowing I’ll get getting up in 35 minutes. Okay.
The bus gets me downtown five minutes later than normal which means I’m speedwalking like I’ve never done before to make it to work on time. Mmm… sweaty at 7:50
Then I get a cryptic message from my supervisor that she got a voicemail from someone looking for me, but who wouldn’t give any specific information as to why or for what.
I go to buy next month’s pass from the COTA office and what usually takes five minutes turns into a 28-minute wait with the creepy smiling guy in front of me and the horny guy outside who stared at me like a plate of hot biscuits from the time I turned the corner until I was out of sight again. Another speed walk back to work. Even more sweatiness. Yay.
I needed to get away so I left a few minutes early hoping to catch an empty bus, but unfortunately I caught the one that not only every state employee decided to ride, but every high school student ALSO catches after sports practice. Sigh.
Finally get home. Finally. I’m thinking about the wonderful salmon croquettes I’m going to make and all the gray clouds float, float on. Things are looking up….
Until I get to the frying part where every patty turns into crumbs once it hits the hot oil. In my favorite pan with no handle. I want to cry, but I find renewed gratitude and think of it as salmon hash.
But the sun shines again and I have the bright idea to bake the rest.
And everything that sucked today, that sapped 96% of my happiness, that almost made me go straight to bed didn’t matter.
The baked patties are beautiful. And they taste great. Even with the burnt rice.
And I decided to eat the salmon hash for lunch, with grits, because I just can’t do another order of Tim Horton’s soup.
Here is the recipe for my labor of love. The bright spot in my day, made with the blood, sweat and tears of every home cook who wanted to make a good recipe better.
Adapted from LaBelle Cuisine
- 1 pound salmon filet, fresh or frozen, skin and bones removed
- 1 large Russet potato, peeled and cut in cubes
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons teriyaki marinade
- ½ cup finely chopped onion
- 1 bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ cup breadcrumbs
- Oil for frying
- Salt and pepper or Paula Deen’s House Seasoning, to taste
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil. Spray with cooking spray or brush with olive oil.
Place salmon in a large skillet and add enough cold water to barely cover the salmon. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover. Cook salmon until it looks opaque when flaked in the center, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to plate and season with salt and pepper or House Seasoning.
While the salmon is cooking, place the potato in a medium saucepan and add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain well. Return to the pot. Add the milk, butter and garlic and mash with a fork or potato masher. Season with salt and pepper or House Seasoning.
Place cooled salmon in a medium bowl and flake well with a fork. Add marinade to flaked tuna and mix well. (It’s also possible to marinade the salmon and bake instead of boiling in step 1). Add the mashed potatoes, onion, bell pepper, egg and paprika. Place breadcrumbs in a shallow dish.
Using about 1/3 cup for each, form into 10 patties. Coat with the bread crumbs and place on prepared baking sheet. Once all the patties are on the sheet, spray lightly with oil. Bake for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn the patties over and bake an additional 10 minutes or until golden brown.
*This recipe can be used with canned red or pink salmon as well, but I highly recommend frozen or fresh salmon.