Last night I made salmon cakes – baked of course, with lentils and asparagus. I love lentils, and have been cooking a lot with them lately – it’s funny ‘cuz my partner turned to me after weeks of eating couscous, kashi, rice, lentils, quinoa, etc and said, “I don’t know how much more of this porridge I can eat.”
So, I took this as a sign that I gotta make the food more interesting. So I tried preparing the lentils somehow differently – and so I added chopped shallot, onion, and parsley – I have to thank America’s Test Kitchen – specifically the 12th season that taught me to first saute some chopped shallot in the saucepan before adding the couscous; I repeated this tip when making the lentils and it worked great.
Making the salmon cakes was pretty easy – it’s like making tuna salad.
I also wanted to make some asparagus – and sauteing it in reduced broth made a fine glaze.
Anyways, the preparation involved is a little…involved. And the kitchen was a bit of a mess…But the food was worth it.
Salmon cakes ingredients:
- 1 tin of salmon – a larger can, around 15 oz. – like Bumble Bee or Chicken of the Sea, drained
- 1/4 cup of corn meal
- 2 tbl of instant mashed potato
- 1 shallot minced finely
- 1 /4 cup of celery, minced finely
- 1 egg – because I’m eating healthy, the equivalent of egg substitute
- 1/4 cup of dried bread crumbs
- 2 tbl of fat free sour cream
- 2 tbl of horseradish mustard
- 1 tsp of dried mustard
Preheat your oven to 375, and prepare and line a baking dish and spray with cooking spray.
In a small nonstick pan, saute the shallot and celery until softened, and leave to the side to cool.
In a bowl, mix the fish, mashed potato, egg, mustard, dried mustard, and pepper. Mix well – you can even use your hands if your bowl is big enough (mine isn’t, plus I’m not a fan of using my hands when cooking). Add the dry ingredients – the corn meal, the bread crumbs – and mix well. Add the sour cream a bit at a time – make sure that your batter is pretty thick.
Add the cooked shallot and celery and mix well. Put into the fridge and leave in there to cool for about 15 minutes.
Take an ice cream scoop and spoon out the mixture and form into patties and place on the prepared baking sheet. You might want to rinse your hands with cold water to prevent sticking.
Put in the oven and bake for about 35 minutes – check on the cakes after about 25 – you won’t have those crispy cakes you’re used to if you deep fry them, but you’ll have something with a consistency of a biscuit.
Ingredients for lentils:
- 1/2 cup of red lentils
- 1 cup of low-sodium or no-salt broth – veggie or chicken
- 1/4 cup of dry white sherry
- 1 shallot, chopped finely
- 1/4 cup of mushrooms, chopped finely
- a handful of fresh parsley, chopped roughly
In a saucepan, heat some cooking spray and saute the shallot until it starts to soften. Add the lentils and stir, letting the lentils toast for about a minute. Add the chopped mushroom and stir, cooking for another minute or so, just until the shallot and the mushroom begin to form a fond. Add the sherry and stir, letting the liquid cook away, making sure you’re stirring so that the bottom doesn’t burn. Throw in the parsley, and stir. Add the broth and let it come to a boil, before lowering the heat to low and let the lentils simmer for about 10 minutes, until the lentils become tender.
Veggie-glazed asparagus ingredients:
- 8 stalks of asparagus, chopped into spears
- 2 cups of water
- 1 cup of broth
- the juice of half a lemon
Over a high heat, heat a medium-sized saute pan with water until the water starts to boil. Throw in the chopped asparagus and cover and let it cook, for about 8, 10 minutes until cooked. Remove the cover and let the water cook away – if there is any water left, pour it out carefully and add the broth and let it cook down until it’s thick and starts to cook the pieces of the asparagus. Add the lemon and freshly grind the pepper and mix carefully, not to break any of the asparagus pieces. Cook until there’s little-to-no liquid left on the pan, and there’s a sticky glaze of broth over the asparagus.
Dipping sauce for the salmon cakes
- 2 tbl of mayo – I used olive oil mayo because it’s heart-healthy, but you can use regular mayonnaise, even Miracle Whip
- 2 tbl of fat free sour cream
- 1 tbl of ketchup – I like Heinz organic ketchup
- 1 tsp of hot sauce – I like sriracha.
Mix well all the ingredients and refrigerate until ready to use.
Once the cakes are done, plate the cakes and the vegetables. Oh and enjoy.