Suzie is my friend. She took me and my children in when I locked us out of our apartment. She got to Squish first when he fell down the stairs and cried more tears than I did over my fearless, accident-prone child and his wounds. She threw a birthday party for Manchild simply because he shares the same birthday as her little girl. And yesterday she had her own birthday.
Unfortunately, Suzie is out of town. She has something against letting people fawn over her on her special day. (I can’t understand it myself, but to each her own.) So we celebrated before she left. I made a ridiculous chocolate brownie pie, a light salad with homemade dressing, and these salmon cakes. The chocolate brownie pie was a hit, of course — it was made with four different levels of chocolate after all, the salad was a tasty and simple summer treat, but it was the salmon cakes that Suzie said she needed to have in her cooking repertoire. So here it is, for Suzie, the day after her birthday. And for the rest of you as well: an un-birthday present from me. (Unless it is your birthday today, and then, Hooray! Happy birthday to you!)
Maybe someday I’ll bake a real birthday cake for you all, but these are definitely the next best thing. Definitely.
Salmon Cakes with Lemon-Caper Mayonnaise adapted from Cooking in Style the Costco Way (which we were randomly given at the check-out line back in the day)
1 T. vegetable oil, divided
1/4 cup finely choppped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
3/4 cup panko (Japanese style bread crumbs)
1 T. Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 7-oz. cans boneless, skinless salmon, drained and flaked
1 large egg, lightly beaten
For the mayonnaise:
6 T. mayonnaise
2 tsp. capers
zest of 1/2 lemon
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
To make the mayonnaise, mix all the ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and chill in the refrigerator.
For the salmon cakes: heat 1 tsp. of the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and celery. saute 4-5 minutes, or until tender.
In a medium bowl: combine the onion mixture, 1/2 cup panko, mustard, black pepper, salmon and egg.
Divide salmon mixture into 4-6 patties (depending on how big you want them or how many people you are serving) and shape into 1/2 inch patties. Coat each patty with the remaining panko. Cover and chill for 20 minutes-ish.
Heat the remaining oil in the skillet over medium heat until hot. Add patties and cook for about 5 minutes on each side, or until lightly browned. Serve with the lemon-caper mayonnaise.