Saturday, November 20, 2010

Salmon Cake with Cebollitas and Saffron Supreme

More French comfort food fresh out of my kitchen!
     I started thinking about making salmon patties with the leftover fresh salmon from my sushi platter.  The sushi I made only used a few tiny pieces of salmon filet, so I had an odd shaped fresh piece of salmon that was not used.  Every time that I had salmon patties in the past, somebody made them with canned salmon.  No thanks!  I don't like canned salmon.  I don't miss those kind of homey canned food meals!    
     I made this salmon cake with the same proportion of bread crumbs, peppers, celery and onion that is found in Baltimore crab cakes.  That means this salmon cake has more than 96% salmon in it. 
     Cebollitas are commonly found in Mexican cuisine.  Cebollitas are sometimes called bulb onions.  Cebollitas are similar to a large green onion.
     Recipe:  Very fine chop a fresh 6 ounce piece of salmon filet. 
     Place the salmon in a mixing bowl.
     Add small spoonful of finely chopped red bell pepper.
     Add a small spoonful of finely chopped onion.
     Add a minced garlic garlic clove.
     Add a spoonful of minced celery.
     Add sea salt and white pepper. 
     Add a pinch each of paprika and cayenne pepper. 
     Add a very light sprinkle of fine bread crumbs.  (The vegetables and bread crumbs should be less than 5% of the total salmon cake mixture.) 
     Add a small amount of whisked egg.  (About half of an egg is plenty for one salmon cake.) 
     Mix the salmon cake ingredients thoroughly.
     Form the salmon cake into a large ball shape. 
     Set the salmon cake ball on a lightly oiled baking pan. 
     Drizzle a little bit of olive oil over the salmon cake. 
     Sprinkle a few fine bread crumbs over the salmon cake. 
     Bake in a 325 degree oven till it is golden brown and fully cooked. 
     Saffron Supreme Sauce Recipe:  Heat a sauce pot over medium heat.
     add 1 or 2 pats of unsalted butter.
     Add a chopped garlic clove and a chopped shallot.
     Saute till the shallot becomes tender. 
     Add 1 cup of shrimp broth. 
     Bring the liquid to a boil over medium high heat.
     Add a few pinches of crumbled saffron flowers.
     Make a blond roux with equal amounts of unsalted butter and flour in a separate sauce pot while constantly stirring over medium heat.
     Whisk in enough blonde roux to thicken the sauce to a thin sauce consistency.
     Whisk and reduce the sauce over medium heat. 
     Add 4 trimmed cebollitas that are cut in half lengthwise. 
     When the onions are cooked al dente, remove them from the sauce and reserve them for later.  Keep the cebollitas warm.
     Add a splash of white wine to the sauce and reduce again.
     Add a splash of cream to the sauce and reduce it to form a shrimp and saffron veloute sauce.
     Add a little more cream and reduce one more time till the sauce becomes a light medium bodied supreme sauce. 
     Strain the saffron supreme sauce through a fine sieve.  Keep the sauce warm.
     Assembly:  Place the cebollitas halves in a circle on the plate as a border. 
     Pour the saffron shrimp supreme over the onions and over the salmon plating area. 
     Set the baked salmon cake on the middle of the plate in the supreme sauce.
     Delicious!  This entree is so much better than the average salmon patty!  Baking at a low temperature ensures that the salmon meat will be moist in a large salmon cake like this one.  The cebollitas are cooked al dente and taste very mild.  The silky smooth saffron shrimp supreme sauce is the perfect French classic sauce for this salmon cake. 
     This is an elegant classic answer to "What do I do with odd ball size pieces of salmon?"  Believe me, I have more fun cooking fish for guests than serving fish raw as sushi.  I'm a saucier and saute chef at heart!  I'm glad I had leftover fresh salmon to cook this nice recipe with!  Yummy!  ...   Shawna

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