I compiled a bunch of sweet potato recipes a couple of years ago when I first planted sweet potatoes and I finally got around to making this one. My wife says the cakes are delicious. I don’t like salmon so I haven’t tried them myself, and yes, I know disliking salmon is sacrilege among foodies everywhere, but that’s just how it is. I hope you enjoy them.
12-14 oz sweet potato, peeled and cubed
3 (6-ounce) pieces salmon fillet
1 cup white wine
1 bay leaf
Freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp seafood seasoning
1 1/2 cups cracker crumbs
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves or 1 tsp dried
1 Tbsp hot sauce (optional)
2 scallions, finely chopped
3 – 4 Tbsp chopped fresh dill or 1 Tbsp dried
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Poaching liquid from cooking the salmon
2 Tbsp tomato paste or 4-5 ¼” wide strips tomato leather
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp ground Bay leaves
2 ½ tsp celery salt
1 ½ tsp mustard seeds, ground
1 ½ tsp black peppercorns, ground
¾ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp each of ground ginger, cloves & paprika
½ tsp cayenne (optional)
Put sweet potatoes in a small pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Salt the water and cook until tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain, then mash the potatoes.
Meanwhile, put the salmon fillets in a skillet with the wine, bay leaf, and enough water to come up to the top of the fillets, but do not cover. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce heat to a simmer and poach until opaque about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the skin and transfer the salmon to a bowl. Flake the fish with a fork and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add the mashed sweet potatoes to the bowl along with the seafood seasoning, half of the cracker crumbs, the egg, thyme, hot sauce, scallions, and dill. Mix to combine. The fish cake mixture needs to be just firm enough to mold into cakes. If its too wet, add a few more crumbs.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat, add olive oil. Form the salmon mixture into 8 (4-inch) patties, coat in the remaining crumbs, and then add them to pan. Cook the fish cakes until light golden, about 3-4 minutes on each side.
Add the sauce ingredients to a small pot. Bring to a boil on medium- high, reduce heat and cook until sauce is thickened, a little looser than ketchup.
Arrange the fish cakes on individual serving plates. Top with the agrodolce sauce and serve.
If you are gluten-sensitive, rice crackers or nuts (I’ve used pecans, but I’m sure other nuts are fine, if you prefer) can be substituted for the cracker crumbs.
This recipe works well with canned salmon also. If using canned salmon, use the liquid from the can and 1 cup wine to substitute for the poaching liquid.
Commercial seafood seasoning is available, but there is no standard recipe and making the seafood seasoning fresh gives more intense flavor. The recipe above makes more than needed for the recipe. Store the remainder in a tightly closed glass spice jar.
Salmon cakes may also be served on a bed of arugula.
In case you’re interested in eating food I make, you can get some at the Red Hook Winter Farmers Market at the Elmendorph Inn tomorrow (Saturday, February 16). I’ll have my vegetarian and vegan morsels, Curried Butternut Squash Soup, Kale Soup with Potatoes & Lentils, and Grilled Cheese sandwiches w/Tomato Leather.
Hope to see you.