Tuesday is “fish night” is my house….much to the chagrin of my children. When they enter the house, knapsacks and shoes deposited in every which direction, they enter cautiously with a sort of “say-it-ain’t-so” kind of expression, one so undeserved of the Omega-6 dish that awaits them. I take no offense though. Most American children don’t rank fish anywhere near pizza or mac n’ cheese on their “Top 10” favorite foods list. It’s just a hard sell….and yes, even if you prepare it well. I don’t give up though…
Especially not this Tuesday. Today is the Rosh Chodesh Adar I– the first day of the Hebrew month of Adar I (this year is a leap year which means that there will be 2 Adars). The month is represented astrologically by fish. 2 fish swimming in opposite directions to be precise…a time ripe for a turnabout as in the Purim story. I’m hoping this will impact my kids reaction to supper…
There is one exception to the children-don’t-love-fish rule that trumps all other rules and provides a surge of hope to my dinner preparations. It is the children-will-eat-anything-fried rule. This is followed by the kids-will-anything-in-a-bun rule. And therefore tonight I WILL WIN!
Making fish cakes from fresh fish is simple in a food processor. Pulse. Pulse. Pulse. Keep the texture. Add some fresh bread crumbs or panko crumbs to give body and hold. I like to chill (or even briefly freeze) the patties to set their shape. And then into the pan they go! Grilling is a great option as well with no messy oil to clean up – just be sure to grease your grates beforehand to prevent sticking.
When the kids sat down, even the pickiest of the lot ate. They ALL ate. Everything.
“Mi she’nichnas Adar, marbim b’simcha” – “When Adar enters, there is an increase of joy.”
Empty plates…bring it on ADAR!
Fresh Salmon Burgers
Versatile and kid friendly, these fresh salmon cakes can be fried or grilled, and served by itself with a salad or in a bun with all the burger fixings.
Yield: 10-12 salmon cakes
- 1½ lbs. salmon fillet, skin removed and cut into chunks
- 3 tbsp. mayonnaise
- Juice of ½ large lemon
- 1½ tsp. sweet pickle relish
- ¼ cup fresh dill (stems removed)
- ¼ cup fresh parsley (stems removed)
- 1 scallion (white and green parts) or ½ shallot, cut into chunks
- ¾ tsp. kosher salt or more to taste
- ¼-½ tsp. black pepper or more to taste
- 1/3 cup coarse breadcrumbs or panko crumbs
- Oil for frying
- Cucumber-Dill Sauce (recipe below)
- Hamburger Buns
- Sliced Tomato
Line a baking sheet with waxed paper or parchment; set aside.
Place salmon, mayonnaise, lemon juice, relish, herbs, scallion, salt and pepper in a food processor fitted with an “s” blade. Using/on off turns, pulse processor until coarsely chopped – do not puree to paste. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add bread crumbs, mixing until well blended. Using moistened hands, form mixture into round cakes. Arrange on prepared baking sheet. Refrigerate for an hour (or place in freezer for 15 minutes) to set. (*Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.)
Heat enough oil to cover the bottom of a large skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, fry cakes until nicely browned on each side and opaque in center, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to plate lined with paper towels to drain. Serve warm or at room temperature with Cucumber-Dill sauce (recipe below) over a bed of mixed greens or on a bun with lettuce and tomato.
Yield: about 1½ cups
- 1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
- ½ cup sour cream or mayonnaise
- 3-4 tbsp. chopped fresh dill (or 3-4 tsp. dried dill)
- 1 shallot, minced
- Juice from ½ lemon (about 1 tbsp.), or more to taste
- 4 tablespoons water or more as needed
- Kosher salt to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper
Mix all ingredients except water together in a small bowl. Add water gradually as needed to desired consistency. Season to taste with salt, pepper and more lemon juice if needed. Cover and refrigerate.
(Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep refrigerated.)