Monday, December 30, 2013

Salmon Croquettes

We're back from a week long trip to the Arizona. It was beautiful, sunny and warm - a much needed getaway from the frustrations of snow and cold! While I love being at home, I didn't get to cook much at all, and  I've definitely missed it!

The one  problem of coming home after a long trip? Almost zero fresh food in the fridge. Well, almost zero fresh food, except for the orange that I left out on the counter, which had completely rotted away. Disgusting.

Leaving work, I did a quick run through of what little food we had left in the pantry - didn't I have some canned salmon? I'd never cooked with it before and a good friend - and amazing florist! ;) - had recommended a salmon croquette recipe after my previous post on zucchini fritters. Done - salmon croquettes it was. I just had to swing by the little Italian market near us to pick up a few fresh ingredients on my way home.

This is a really simple and delicious recipe that requires minimal effort. You'll be done in 30 minutes, max. The only real preparation is chopping shallots, garlic, and green onions. After that, mix, form patties, and cook through. Serve with a side of green beans or potatoes for a quick, healthy dinner. The hefty protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and fiber from the cooked oats makes this one powerhouse of dish. This recipe makes 9 croquettes, so you'll likely have leftovers too!

Salmon Croquettes

1 can (14.75 oz) Alaskan wild-caught salmon (I used Bumble Bee)

2 sprigs green onion

1 shallot (or 1/2 onion)

1 tsp minced garlic

2 tsp dill (fresh or dried)

1 tsp dijon mustard

1 large egg

1/2 cup quick cooking oats

Pepper to taste

Olive oil

1. Chop shallot and garlic. Saute in a large skillet until translucent and fragrant

2. Add shallot and garlic to a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients

3. Mix until thoroughly incorporated

4. Form into 1/4 cup patties

5. Fry lightly until heated through and lightly browned

I can't believe I haven't discovered canned salmon earlier. Nutritionally, it's just as sound as fresh fish (just as high in omega-3 fatty acids and even higher in calcium, if bones are included), and the shelf life is obviously much longer. I've tried frozen salmon before, but I find that it just never tastes quite the same when reheated. Eating fresh fish requires frequent trips to the store - and not only am I usually pressed for time, but the anemic pale-pink farmed salmon at the closest supermarket just doesn't look that appealing. If only Whole Foods were closer...

Of course, with canned fish (tuna, salmon, etc), there's always the concern for exposure to chemicals such as bisphenol-A (BPA). But so far, there has not been conclusive evidence of harm in human adults (most of the concern stems from animal studies). There is a somewhat higher level of concern with BPA exposure in pregnancy/childhood, but more human studies are needed to corroborate the existing animal data. You can read more about BPA at the NIH website. For now, occasional consumption of this highly nutritious fish will be a delicious part of our life!

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