Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Fresh Salmon Cakes – Uncanny

Salmon cakes are one of my go-to, emergency meals. We keep a few cans of salmon in the pantry, and when faced with that dreaded “there’s nothing in the house to eat” situation, we pop one open, and are soon enjoying a batch of these easy, affordable, and pretty delicious patties.

That’s the typical scenario, but every once in a while I like to use fresh salmon. Salmon is one of those products, like chicken, that’s very easy to get into a rut with. People generally find a few recipes that work for them, and just stay with those, but this fairly simple preparation should be easy to add to anyone's rotation.

Like other seafood “cakes,” we want to use the minimum amount of filler. Just a touch of breadcrumb is all you need here, as the raw salmon is the real binder. That’s one of the big advantages over canned salmon cakes, where we’re cooking something that’s already cooked. The result is something much moister, and more tender.

As far as flavorings go, you’re faced with an infinite number of possibilities. Using this basic method, you can go hog-wild with variations, including, but not limited to, actual hog parts. These are also perfect for a burger bun, as well as a base for poached eggs. That may be my favorite use. I hope you give these fresh salmon cakes a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 4 salmon cakes:
1 tbsp extra olive oil
1/4 finely minced onion
2 tbsp finely minced red pepper
2 tbsp minced celery
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp capers
1 1/4 pounds fresh wild salmon, trimmed, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs (any will work)
2 clove finely minced garlic
pinch cayenne
pinch Old Bay
1 tsp Dijon mustard
additional olive oil for frying

Monday, September 15, 2014

Video 1,000! Your Most Frequently Asked Questions

As I joke in the video, this little Q & A should serve as irrefutable proof that I’ve made the right decision to stay off camera. Talking while being filmed isn’t that hard; it’s the part about making sense that’s the real challenge.

And if you’re thinking I took the easy way out here, just sitting around, talking to the camera, think again. These things are like a hundred times harder than a regular recipe video, so you’ll have to pardon all the questionable editing techniques. Despite the challenges, I really did enjoy finally getting to solve some of these mysteries for you.

By the way, if I didn’t happen to get to your question in this video, I will be doing the same thing for video 2,000, so hold that thought.  A heartfelt thank you for all the support you gave during the first 1,000, and we’re on to the next one. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Next Up: Video 1,000!

It wasn't for a lack of great ideas, but I'm here to confess, I wasn't able to decide on which recipe to film for the big milestone. It was just too much pressure. So, instead I'm going to finally answer the most commonly asked questions I've received over the last seven years. 

Do you have a restaurant? Why no written recipes? What's with the cayenne? I'll also make a rare appearance on camera, which will help answer the one about "why don't you appear on camera?" Stay tuned!
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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Fried Peach & Pancetta Pizza – A Savory Twist on a Childhood Sweet

Growing up, I always loved when my family made pizza from scratch, but what I loved even more was what came after the meal. Any extra dough and scraps were rolled out, left to rise, fried, and sprinkled with sugar to create a simple, but delicious donut-like treat.

Here we’re doing a savory twist; using the technique to make a pizza featuring ricotta, pancetta and peaches. Obviously, you can use any and all classic pizza toppings, but this particular combo comes highly recommended.

Besides a fun change of pace, this method is great for making a bunch of crusts ahead of time, and then dressing/baking when needed. Imagine setting up a “make your own pizza” bar, with your guests customizing theirs any way they want. Add a couple cases of beer to the mix, and you’ll be hosting a pizza party of epic proportions. I really hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!


For One Small Fried Peach & Pancetta Pizza:
(all ingredient amounts are purely guesses)
2 tablespoons ricotta cheese, plus a pinch of salt if needed
fresh thyme leaves
fresh ground black pepper
2 ounces pancetta
5-6 slices fresh peach
freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
extra virgin olive oil, plus regular olive oil for frying