Of Boxes, Dinner Parties and Salmon Cakes

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Fresh Salmon Cakes with a cucumber dill sauce.
Fresh Salmon Cakes with a cucumber dill sauce.

The end of the summer was more than I bargained for.  I put my house on the market.  My creativity was certainly drained as I had to grab my kids and be out of the house, usually right about dinner time.  It was easier to deal with frozen meals then to make a mess out of the house, cook and then clean it all up.

We got an offer and accepted it (all within a month of listing it).  Everything else just came at me so fast from there on out.  Twelve years of life in that home brought with it twelve years of stuff that piled up (and things that we found from the original owners, thirty years ago) and repairs that needed to be tended to.  Mold was found in our attic roof, we had to put in a radon mitigation system, fix siding and many other various repairs.  Amazing people came to my rescue, emotionally and physically.  My kids transformed into amazing, mini-pillars of strength; I never realized how close of a family the three of us would become because of this new adventure in our lives.

I packed as much as I could, as soon as I could.  I battled depression, lost sleep and lost weight.  My entire house was packed into a 28-foot storage trailer, moved that to the new place (which I secured that within a month of having to move) and became temporarily displaced for two nights.  Gracious friends opened up their home to the kids and I.  And what rotten house guests we were!  The Girl-spawn chased our hostess out of the kitchen, telling her to sit down while we made dinner for them.  Our hostess managed to get over that, with a glass of wine in hand.

We downsized considerably and managed to further purge after moving into the new place.  It was difficult saying goodbye to the closest I’d ever been, to my dream kitchen.  I finally have my new house settled and feel more at home than I ever have.  I get to make this my own place and create new memories.

It was now time to have a proper dinner party, all planned out.  I invited five of my friends and delegated out which dishes to bring, that would compliment my main course.  Baba Ghanoush, marinated feta and a cheese and cracker plate started us all off.  Caesar salad and crusty bread accompanied the baked lemon salmon filet, cucumber dill sauce, jasmine rice and steamed broccoli.  We finished it everything off with chocolate raspberry cake and a chocolate bourbon pecan pie.  The best part?  I asked three people to bring wine and we ended up with nine, yes NINE bottles.  My friends never leave me hanging.

I’m really glad that I planned on having leftover salmon because it made the most delicious salmon cakes for dinner this evening.

And without further ado….here’s my recipe for salmon cakes that I couldn’t keep my kids from devouring.

  • 1/2 pound of cooked and cooled salmon
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Freshly ground salt and pepper
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup finely diced red onion
  • 1 cup diced yellow bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup dried parsley (or 1/4 cup, fresh)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup canola mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  1. Put 2 teaspoons each of butter and olive oil in a large skillet along with the onion, pepper, parsley, Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, Old Bay seasoning and a half teaspoon each of salt and pepper.  Cook over medium-high heat until the vegetables are soft, about 15-20 minutes.  Let cool to room temperature.
  2. Flake the cooked salmon into a large bowl.  Add the cooked vegetables, breadcrumbs, mayonnaise, mustard and eggs.  Mix well.  Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  4. Shape into 10 cakes.
  5. Heat the rest of the butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.  Fry five cakes at a time, 3-4 minutes on each side, until browned.  Place on a paper towel to drain and keep them warm in the oven while you finish frying the second batch.  Serve hot.

I had leftover rice, dill sauce and steamed up a bit more broccoli.

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