Cook to Impress: Baked Masala Salmon Cakes

Baked Masala Salmon Cakes

I have always found pan frying to be the trickiest step in cooking fish cakes. If the oil isn’t hot enough then the cakes turn out greasy, and if the oil is too hot you risk burning the cakes. Fish cakes are a delicate thing; flip them one too many times and they will break apart.

The inlaws are visiting this weekend and I mentioned the above to Vikkie, as I was planning the menu. He suggested that I try baking them and I scoffed at him. I was testing this recipe today, and burnt my first batch. I decided to baked the rest and they turned out awesome!

Baked Masala Salmon Cakes
adopted from Vij’s Elegant and Inspired Indian Cuisine
1 lb salmon
1 egg
1/2 lb potato
1/4 lb yam
1/2 of small onion
1 medium jalapeno pepper
3 big cloves of garlic
bunch of fresh coriander
3 tbs flour
1 1/2 tbs garam masala
1 tbs coriander seeds
1/2 tbs ajwain seeds
salt to taste

vegetable oil for baking
2 lemons for serving

Start with boiling the potato and yam as that takes the longest. If your potato and yam are very big, cut them into halves to decrease boling time. Finely chop the: onion, garlic, jalapeno and coriander. Add them to a large bowl. Once the potato and yam are cooked set them aside to cool and dry.

Immerse the salmon in the potato water and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, drain and set aside to cool. Peel the potato and yam, and mash them together. Once the salmon has cooled down, peel off the skin and flake the fish. Lightly pound the coriander seeds with a mortar and pestle. Save yourself some grief and beat the egg separately. Add all ingredients to the large bowl and mix to combine.

Pre-heat the oven to 450ºF. Place parchment paper on a baking tray and brush lightly with oil. Make round cakes and lay them on the baking tray. Place the tray in the oven. After 12 – 15 minutes flip the cakes over and take them out in another 5 minutes. Serve with chutney and a wedge of lemon.

This recipe makes about 24 – 30 cakes.

My verdict: Baking saves time because you can clean the kitchen while your food bakes. It’s also a healthier choice since you need a lot less oil. I hate to say it but my brother had an awesome idea.

Cook to Impress: Salmon in Puff Pastry

Salmon in Puff Pastry

When hosting a dinner party on a Friday evening after a long day, I just want to cook something simple yet impressive. One such recipe is Salmon in Puff Pastry as it plates beautifully without extensive prep or garnish.

Salmon in Puff Pastry
adopted from Jamie’s Food Revolution
1/2 packet of pre-made puff pastry
13/4 pounds salmon fillet
1/4 cup black olive tapenade
1/4 pound ball of fresh mozzarella
1 large ripe tomato
a small bunch of fresh basil
1 tbsp of olive oil
all-purpose flour for dusting
salt and pepper to taste

Scale the salmon and marinate it in olive oil, salt and pepper. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Dust a cookie sheet with flour and roll out the pastry into 12″ by 9″ rectangle. Pat the salmon fillet dry and place it skin down on the pastry. Spoon out the tapenade and spread it on the fillet. Slice the tomato and place them on top of the tapenade. Insert a basil leaf between each tomato slice. Slice the mozzarella and spread the slices on top of the tapenade next to the tomato. Fold pastry sides onto the salmon and pinch the corners. Bake for about 30 – 35 minutes on the bottom rack of the oven. Check that the puff pastry corners are cooked before taking out of the oven. Serve on a cutting board straight from the oven.

On the Fly: Masala Salmon Fry

Curry Salmon Fry

Somedays I get off work surviving on a Tim Horton’s lunch, thinking today could be one of those days I can cook and eat something before I run out of energy. That’s when I fall back on one of my “on the fly” recipes like the Masala Salmon Fry. Lack of ingredients doesn’t hold me back, because as long as I have salmon, garlic, ginger, salt, oil and lemon I know I’ll have a tasty meal. This salmon fry goes well with leftover rice and vegetables or even in a sandwich.

Masala Salmon Fry
6 cloves of garlic
2 cm piece of fresh ginger
2 green chilies
a bunch of fresh coriander
1 egg
½ tsp garam masala powder
2 tsp coriander powder
¼ tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste

2 x 170–225 g salmon fillets
vegetable oil to shallow fry
1 lemon

Scale the fillets and cut each fillet into 4 pieces. Blend marinate ingredients in a food processor. Rub marinate all over the fish and let it sit for half an hour. Heat a frying pan; once it’s hot, add vegetable oil and cook salmon for 5 minutes on each side. Squeeze lemon over the cooked fish to finish it up.