Dinner:  March 25, 2008

Project Pantry Cull took another small step forward last night, as I pulled out a long-neglected can of Wild Alaskan pink salmon and turned it into surprisingly tasty salmon “burgers.” I feel a bit silly referring to them as burgers because they were really more like croquettes, but I served them on little wheat rolls with a lemon-caper mayo and sweet potato oven fries on the side, so the spirit of the burger was there.

These were extremely simple to prepare: I drained off the liquid from the salmon, placed it into a big mixing bowl and removed as much of the skin and little bones as I could. I added one finely minced large shallot, salt, pepper, a beaten egg and some plain dry breadcrumbs, then formed the mixture into patties (I ended up with 3) and placed them in the fridge for about half an hour to firm up. They got a quick fry in a bit of olive oil in a hot cast iron skillet for about 3 minutes per side, then a quick blot on paper towels before I placed them on the rolls and dressed them.

This was really the first time I have cooked with canned salmon, but I was impressed by the flavor, and you can’t beat the price – I think our whole meal easily came in at under $10 – so I’ll definitely want to keep it on hand as a pantry staple. I went a little light on the seasonings for my burgers, but I think there’s definitely room to play around there as well – some fresh herbs, spicy mustard or zingy Asian seasonings would all be great additions to future versions of this recipe. If you have any favorite ways to prepare canned salmon, I’d love to hear about them.

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