Saturday, July 14, 2012

Recipe: Salmon Burgers

Salmon Burgers

Yield 4 servings
Time 20 minutes

If you finely grind part of the salmon, it will bind the rest, which can be coarsely chopped to retain its moisture during cooking. The two-step grinding process means that those flavorings that you want minced fine, like garlic or ginger, can go in with the first batch of salmon; those that should be left coarse, like onion or fresh herbs, can go in with the rest.
  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless salmon
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 shallots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup coarse bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • Lemon wedges
  • Tabasco sauce
  • 1. Cut the salmon into large chunks, and put about a quarter of it into the container of a food processor, along with the mustard. Turn the machine on, and let it run -- stopping to scrape down the sides if necessary -- until the mixture becomes pasty.
  • 2. Add the shallots and the remaining salmon, and pulse the machine on and off until the fish is chopped and well combined with the puree. No piece should be larger than a quarter inch or so; be careful not make the mixture too fine.
  • 3. Scrape the mixture into a bowl, and by hand, stir in the bread crumbs, capers and some salt and pepper. Shape into four burgers. (You can cover and refrigerate the burgers for a few hours at this point.)
  • 4. Place the butter or oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet, and turn the heat to medium-high. When the butter foam subsides or the oil is hot, cook the burgers for 2 to 3 minutes a side, turning once. Alternatively, you can grill them: let them firm up on the first side, grilling about 4 minutes, before turning over and finishing for just another minute or two. To check for doneness, make a small cut and peek inside. Be careful not to overcook. Serve on a bed of greens or on buns or by themselves, with lemon wedges and Tabasco or any dressing you like.
  • The recipe's mustard, shallots and capers are not the only approaches to consider for seasoning these salmon burgers. While pureeing the first batch of salmon, you can:
  • * Use a combination of soy sauce (about a tablespoon), sesame oil (a teaspoon) and ginger (a teaspoon). Use peanut oil for sauteeing if you have it.
  • * Add a small clove of garlic (don\'t overdo it, because the garlic will remain nearly raw and strong tasting).
  • For the coarser, second batch, you can:
  • * Use a quarter of a cup onion or scallions, in addition to or instead of the shallots.
  • * Add spice mixtures like curry or chili powder, using a teaspoon to a tablespoon, depending on your spice capacity.
  • * Add 1 tablespoon or more of fresh herbs, like parsley, chervil, dill or cilantro.
  • * Add red or yellow bell pepper (half a cup), cored, seeded and roughly chopped.
  • With the bread crumbs, try mixing in lightly toasted pignoli (a quarter cup or more) or sesame seeds (about a tablespoon).
Source: The New York Times

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