The first contributor for the Momma Can Cook series is Arnebya Herndon who blogs at What, Now, and Why. I sat in an audience at BlogHer in 2012 and listened to Arnebya read a story that made me weep. Then I turned around and listened to her read another story that was so funny I literally rolled (not figuratively) on the floor laughing a few hours later. I think that is the perfect description of her. I did not know her then, but I do now. I’m thrilled to call her my friend. She makes me think, she makes me laugh, and she inspires me to a better writer, mother, and citizen every day. She’s also a kick ass cook. Every time I see her post a photo of what she is cooking I start to drool and wish that I could stop by for dinner. Today she is sharing her recipe for Salmon Cakes with us.
It is Saturday. I have the kids at the park and library. My husband is home, headed to the gym. He calls to make sure there’s nothing I need before he leaves.
“What’s for dinner?”
“I took out chicken to thaw.”
“To bake or fry or what?”
“I don’t know. Do you want fried or barbecued? I don’t want baked.”
“Oh. I kind of want fried.”
“So fry it.”
“You don’t want fried, do you? I can BBQ half for you.”
“I just want to eat.”
This conversation brought to you by the husband who would have gone to get whatever I needed, and me, the person who THOUGHT she took out the chicken but who DID NOT take out the chicken. This conversation also brought to you by me, who got home and realized the chicken was still in the freezer and there was nothing else to eat.
So, let’s evaluate. Hungry, whiny children, frozen chicken (and turkey and fish, so we’ve “got” dinner, except not), no car, and it’s nearly 6. I throw cereal bars at the kids (and probably honey buns or chips because just stop whining) and start to look around for something else to cook. Breakfast for dinner? Yes! No. Eggs, applesauce, waffles! No syrup. And then I spy the can of salmon and it’s like a little piece of my heart melted. Quick check that I had everything I needed, and I was off.
I don’t even know what I was panicking about. Salmon cakes generally are the go-to for us in a pinch because they’re quick and the kids like them. I usually pair them with rice, cheese grits, or quinoa, and asparagus, broccoli, or spinach.
Since I bought some time providing bad snacks right before dinner, I decided to doctor the salmon cakes up a bit. Typically I just add egg, onion, and bread crumbs. But this time I chopped up Granny Smith apples and green and yellow bell peppers. They were a hit. Thankfully, all of my children eat whatever is presented, but when the oldest asks for seconds, I know I’ve done something right.
My husband came home and laughed when I told him about the chicken.
And he kept laughing.
It wasn’t that funny. Besides, all this could have been avoided if he’d just checked the sink for thawing chicken. Ours is an equal opportunity blame household. Besides, we didn’t even have barbecue sauce.
Here’s what you’ll need to make the ultimate salmon cake:
1 can of salmon (yields 6-8 small cakes)
Olive oil (enough to cover bottom of a standard size pan)
Seasoned bread crumbs
1 TBSP Miracle Whip
1 TBSP spicy mustard
½ TBSP ranch dressing (optional)
1 TSP Lemon juice
Peppers: 1 small green, yellow
Apples: 2 small Granny Smith (for tartness/crispness. Others are usually too soft)
1 small onion
2 TBSP grated parmesan cheese
1. In a small bowl, combine diced onion, apples, and peppers.
2. In a separate bowl, debone salmon.
3. Add egg, Miracle Whip, mustard, ranch, and lemon juice to salmon. Mix.
4. Add onion, apples, and peppers to the salmon mixture.
5. Fold in bread crumbs, enough to make mixture not feel wet.
6. Heat oil.
7. Use large spoon to create small patties. Add to oil, turning once when it’s clear the cake has browned after 3-4 minutes. Second side will brown just as quickly.
A great big thanks to Arnebya for sharing her recipe. Be sure to check out her blog, What, Now, and Why, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter. Leave a comment or send me an email if you would like to share one of your family favorites. For more dinner ideas check out these posts: