Tuesday, May 25, 2010

From Mush to Delicious

Mike and I recently celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary! The word 'wedding' may seem redundant in that sentence, but when you meet a man like Mike, you celebrate the day you met him, the day he proposed, etc. I know, I know - this is just too MUSHY....now stop putting your finger down your throat like that! Seriously, when you meet the person you want to be with forever, it is like magic, like a wonderful dream, like...like a recipe that works out just as you had hoped and will file in your 'forever and ever' recipe binder!

And believe you me, I have tried my fair share of recipes that have NOT worked out!
I aim to blog at least one new recipe a week, but was sent into a bit of a foodie funk after a disappointing encounter with a tofu burger.

Recently I have tried several recipes from a cook book that I have had for a few years, Moosewood Restaurant New Classics. Two were winners and will be added to my 'forever and ever' binder - but the tofu burgers were a complete flop.

The introduction sounded great -  "popular, yummy"  - so with optimism and naivete I jumped headfirst right into the recipe - even took photos to blog. To my dismay, the result was a bland and boring burger. I quickly realized this recipe was not a keeper when the boys resorted to soy sauce, ketchup and other 'flavor enhancers' to make them tolerable. What a sinking feeling when you give so much time and loving care to a recipe only to have it fail. Well, it is the past and I am over it... really.

After the recent flop I knew I had to 'get back out there'  again and start trying some new recipes. Luckily my nature is to not hold back -  to jump headfirst in again. Even if it turned out to be a rebound recipe, I knew I had to give it my best try!
So, I have always loved fish cakes such as crab and salmon cakes, but have not been able to reproduce the tastes that I have enjoyed in restaurants... until Moosewood's Salmon Cakes.

Everyone loved them and wanted more - no flavor enhancers requested!
Yes! I found another recipe for my 'forever and ever' binder!

SALMON BURGERS: adapted from Moosewood Restaurant New Classics
Warning: there is a lot of mush in this recipe

Put 2 cups peeled, diced potatoes, 1 cup chopped onion, and 1 cup peeled, chopped carrots in a large saucepan with water to cover them. Put the lid on and bring this to a boil. Then simmer for about 10 minutes or until veggies are tender.

Then add 2-3 fillets (about 1 pound) of skinned, 1 inch pieces of salmon to the pot. Cook for another 7 minutes and drain in a colander.

Transfer this to a bowl and mash it into mush. Fun!

To this mushy mixture, add 1 egg, 1 tbsp mayo, 1 tbsp dijon mustard, 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice, 1-2 cloves of minced garlic, 1 tsp salt, some freshly ground pepper, and 1/2 cup fine bread crumbs.
Mix well - but not too well!
Heat up a small glug of olive oil in a pan over medium high heat. Shape the mushy mixture in your clean hands and sprinkle with a little bread crumbs before carefully placing it in the heated pan.
Fry for approximately 4 minutes on each side - until crisp and golden.
Try serving these with a nice green salad dressed with some of the leftover lemon juice and olive oil - keeping the side simple so that the cakes can take center stage!
So you see; a little  MUSH can be delicious!

BTW - Mike and I celebrated by going to the Trellis Cafe in Hubbards, a little seaside village 25 minutes from here. It was a delicious meal of haddock, crab cakes, greens, wine, really fine coffee and homemade chocolate cake. Adding to the fun and ambiance were live music and a friendly crowd with many familiar faces.

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