Tag Archives: cornbread

Salmon mashed into cake shapes!

15 Apr

For months I’ve glimpsed the two golden cans of wild Alaskan salmon every time I opened my cabinets. And every time I’d think, oh yeah, salmon! I should make salmon cakes! But it took an inexplicable urge to actually MAKE dinner (and not just fajitas, or tacos, or any of the other commonly prepared Mexi-foods of our household) instead of eating out. So here you have it, my tried & true Sally-style salmon cakes recipe.

You need:

  • One tall can of salmon. Not the regular can size, and not the family size that soup comes in… you know. A tallish can. I’d say like, 20 ounces. Is that a thing?
  • About a quarter of a red or orange pepper, finely diced
  • About a quarter of a normal sized yellow onion, finely diced
  • Two eggs
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of mustard. I used honey-dijon, which was great. Don’t use regular yellow, that’d be weird.
  • Some of my buttermilk-lime and chili aioli, which I’ll tell you about it one hot minute.
First and foremost, preheat your oven to 425 F.
Nextly, saute up the pepper and onion with some olive oil and/or butter. While that’s softening up, empty your can of salmon into a bowl and pick out any skin or bones. I found like, a human spine, some finger-lookin’ bones, and a ton of weird black skin stuff. Don’t be alarmed, just be thorough and triple check that you got all the freaky bones out. Nothing says “scarred for life from fish products” like biting into a giant bone. Not like I know, TACO DEL MAR. Not like I SPENT A LOT OF TIME GETTING OVER THAT FISH TACO or anything. When the peppers and onions are softened, add them to the (perfectly edible) salmon, along with everything else, except the aioli, obviously. Mash all that up for a few minutes!
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or oil the sheet, whatever) and form the mixture into 8 cakes. They’ll be about 2.5 inches across and 3/4 inches thick. Bake them for about 15 minutes, or until they’re heated through and slightly browned on the bottom.
While they’re baking, make this aioli! If you already have buttermilk, use that, but if not, do this:
Take about 1 cup of milk and squeeze the juice from 3/4 of a lemon into it. Just cut the lemon in fourths and squeeze the juice into your hand so you catch the seeds and don’t dirty a juicer for a measly couple teaspoons of acidity. Leave that milk for 5 minutes to let it curdle and thicken. Now take a lime, and zest the whole damn thing!┬áChop all that zest up a bit and put it into your new buttermilk mixture. Throw in a couple tablespoons of sour cream or plain yogurt, salt and fresh ground pepper, and about 2.5 teaspoons of chili-garlic sauce. If you don’t already have a jar of this at your house, go buy it right now. It goes with absolutely everything.
Stir all that aioli up, drizzle heartily over those cakes, and serve with a little salad with sesame dressing and some of mom’s recipe cornbread, and you’re set. For the cornbread recipe, click here! It’s totally worth it if you have ten extra minutes to throw it all together, but if you’re really hungover or have another good excuse, just use two boxes of Jiffy cornbread mix. It’s super cheap, weirdly sweet, and pretty great all things considered.

Domestic bliss… pretty much!

28 Feb

Yesterday C inexplicably left for a night of snow camping with his man friends, and I was left with a house to myself and free time. So while I pondered what might possess an otherwise reasonable person to dig a hole in the snow and sleep in it when they could be soundly slumbering underneath a mound of fresh warm sheets, I did what any lady craving creature comfort would do: I spent the day with my best friend buying matching sweatpants (my first pair!). And petting rabbits. And eating ice cream. I knew that when he came home wet and exhausted this afternoon he’d probably want something homey and substantial to rejuvenate him, which obviously called for the crock pot…

…and mom’s cast iron skillet cornbread recipe, which is TOTALLY AWESOME. Basically, after throwing on the sweatpants that may never leave my body again, I sauteed up some Italian sausage and onions and added them to a crock pot with kidney, black, and pinto beans, and diced tomatoes. I like to use stock for the base, but since I didn’t have any I just added a bit of water. The spices are improvised as well but pretty standard, I’m sure: cumin, oregano, pepper, chili flakes, ancho chili pepper, garlic salt, and a couple bay leaves.

After 8 hours, this chili was golden. But it needed cornbread! Here’s the recipe!

1 1/2 C flour
1/2 C sugar
2/3 C cornmeal (I used medium ground, but I recommend fine ground)
1 T baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

1 1/4 C milk
1/3 C veg oil
2 eggs
3 T melted butter

Just preheat the oven to 350, and while its heating up throw an oiled cast iron skillet in there to get nice and hot- this is absolutely necessary to get that awesome brown crust that makes the cornbread weep-worthy. Mix the dry ingredients and wet ones separately, then combine in the hot skillet. Bake for 30 minutes and rotate it once or twice for good measure. ┬áSo now I am finally sated of that chili craving that was stewing all day (stewing! GET IT!? PUNS!!!!) and C is busily fighting off his desire to fall asleep at 7 pm. I don’t blame him though… I’m feeling a bit food coma-y myself and I didn’t spend the night underneath a foot of snow with wet socks on. Because I am a sane human being, and instead spent the night in those god forsaken sweatpants with three blankets (after a premium night out of concerts/alley whiskey/general debauchery with friends, of course).

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