I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had and enjoyed tinned salmon. Even references to it in conversation bring back memories of Literature class: we were reading the book “The Mystic Masseur” by Sir V.S. Naipaul and I thought it hilarious how the protagonist’s future father in law Ramlogan would always want to open a tin of salmon from his shop whenever he wanted to discuss anything serious with Pundit Ganesh, much in the same way we would open a bottle of liquor for the same purpose. Business aside, long before we got fresh salmon posing on our grocery shelves, the canned one – expensive though it may be – reigned supreme, especially during Easter and the Lenten period. However, we no longer have to wait for Easter to enjoy it, because hey... we are Trinis. We will eat it with anything, a fried or roast bake, some Crix, a piece of bread... So, how do we like our canned salmon? Usually stewed over rice, but today we are dressing it up in our Eye Food selection. Try making these Baked Salmon Croquettes for a delicious change from the usual and see how you like them. (I promise you will!) Happy cooking!
Baked Salmon Croquettes
1 pound canned salmon
1 cup seasoned fine bread crumbs, divided use
1/4 cup grated
1/4 cup (or 4 tablespoons) butter
1/4 cup minced red
1/4 cup minced local celery
1/4 cup minced onion
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon peppersauce,
or to taste
1 tablespoon lemon or
2 tablespoons chopped
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
• Press the liquid from the canned salmon into a measuring cup. Add enough milk to measure 1 cup.
• Flake the salmon in a large bowl and pick it over for any large bones and remove skin.
• Whisk together bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese in a separate bowl and set aside.
• Gently sauté the onion, red sweet pepper and celery in the butter until softened, but not browned. Whisk in the flour until smooth and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
• Add the milk mixture while continuing to stir and cook until thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in the flaked salmon, pepper sauce, lemon or lime juice, chives, fresh thyme, and 1/2 cup of the bread crumb mixture. Refrigerate the salmon mixture until firm.
• Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a shallow baking sheet with non-stick foil and spray with cooking spray.
• Divide chilled salmon mixture into 8 portions and form into patties. Or, you can also divide them into balls by scooping out tablespoons and rolling into 1 1/2 inch balls.
• Place remaining bread crumb mixture in a shallow plate. Coat both sides of the salmon patties (or balls) with the crumbs.
• Place patties on prepared baking sheet 2 inches apart. (If you’ve made balls, place them 1 inch apart on the sheet.) Spray the tops lightly with cooking spray.
• Bake 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown. Serve with tartar sauce, tamarind sauce or garlic sauce.