I finally made my salmon cakes today! I use THIS recipe for Cajun Salmon Cakes with Lemon-Garlic Aioli. It sounds fancy, I know, but it isn’t really. I ended up tweaking the recipe a bit to suit my own needs.
I am so proud of myself when I tweak successfully. I have mentioned before that I am a rule-follower, and it’s so hard for me to break out of the mold and do something that isn’t specified in a recipe. But I have been cooking so long that I’m starting to figure out the patterns of what can and should be done and what should be avoided.
In this recipe, I made the aioli as specified — two tablespoons mayonnaise, two teaspoons lemon juice, and minced garlic. Generally I squish up one clove in my garlic press, which is probably far more than the 1/4 teaspoon the recipe calls for, but we like garlic in this household. Add all the ingredients together and just stir! It couldn’t be easier.
This aioli is good for all kinds of things. You don’t have to use it just for this recipe! It would be good on any kind of fish or seafood that you would usually use tartar sauce for. You could even use it in a sandwich instead of regular mayonnaise to kick it up a notch. Be careful with it, though, and try not to eat it just before a big presentation at work. It is very garlicky, and you will be stuck with garlic breath.
My favorite way to combat garlic breath is to make everyone around me eat garlic. That way no one will notice my breath! It’s an excellent plan.
The cakes themselves… instead of three cans of salmon I used one big can of salmon, bones, skin, and all. The way it’s canned, all that stuff tends to melt into the flesh, and the bones add more calcium. They don’t get caught in your throat at all. You can throw that stuff out if you want, but I’m not fussed by it. I also used salt-free Cajun seasoning because my Cajun seasoning is very salty, and the first time I made it, I thought the dish was too salty. I used more than the recipe called for, as well as more Dijon mustard. Then I chucked in some cayenne pepper for good measure. It sounds like I made it very, very spicy, but it really wasn’t at all. I was almost disappointed by how little flavor came through in the final product.
Ooo maybe next time I use jerk seasoning! That would be goooooooooooooood.
With it I served cabbage, since I found two-thirds of a head of cabbage that was starting to go south on me. I found a recipe that called for wilting it in a pan with water, but I substituted white wine instead since I had an open split I really needed to use up. I was also supposed to toast cumin seeds to toss with the cabbage, but I didn’t have cumin seeds. I did have caraway, and I know caraway and cabbage usually goes together quite well. A tablespoon of sherry vinegar was the final ingredient.
And then I made my parsley potatoes. That’s just potatoes boiled in water until they are tender, then tossed with butter (I used margarine) and fresh or dried parsley. I told Kurt that it reminded me of my childhood, before my father gained custody of me, so it had bittersweet memories, though I still find it delicious. For him, he’s reminded of the ship. I guess it’s a popular dish to serve while the guys are underway.
The funny thing is, my family couldn’t get enough of the sides. We ate all the potatoes and all the cabbage, though we each had only one serving of the main dish — the salmon cakes. They were delicious, but I guess the veggies just took over.
I was thinking about going to the commissary tomorrow to get a few more things for dinner this week, but apparently they are closed. And since they’re always closed on Mondays too, I am sure that they won’t be open again until Tuesday. Gahh. It’s such a pain to have to plan my meals around when the commissary is open when I know that a lot of other commissaries have almost normal grocery-store hours, instead of 9am to 7pm during the week and 9am to 6pm on the weekends. I shouldn’t complain since the savings make it worth it, but it’s still frustrating.
Well, I guess it’s more eating out of the cupboards for the next couple of days! I have an idea for a pasta dish with artichoke hearts and capers for tomorrow, served with a side of roasted zucchini. Then on Monday I’ll figure out something to do with chicken. I’m actually excited about trying to figure all this out, instead of giving up and going out all the time. It’s like a puzzle, just waiting for me to put all the pieces together. Of course I welcome any and all suggestions!