The Wonder Years
Porch swings, beehive hairdo's, tiny waists and colorful aprons worn in the kitchen...iced tea (sweet of course), and salmon croquettes served up on melamine dishes. Those were the days. The tiny waist days and beehive hairdo's may be gone, but we can still enjoy the rest. Did you have salmon 'croquettes' when you were growing up? I'm guessing they originated in the 50's, but they were still going strong in the 70's and 80's in our house. One great memory I have of childhood dinners is that our food was placed on the table in cute little bowls and dishes...NOT in the pot it was cooked in. OH no no no. And my mother despised the bottle of ketchup even being on the table. Was your house like that too? We all sat down and had napkins, place-mats and ate like civilized human beings. I'm sure I didn't appreciate it then (when there was a million dishes to wash), but I do now.
And those melamine dishes. Ahh. I recently found a pale pink melamine serving dish at an estate sale just like my mom had a million years ago. Immediately a flood of memories came back to me of the foods that she served only in that dish. Crazy I know...some people have a thing for shoes, I love dishes. Recently, we made salmon patties, or croquettes as we called them growing up, and I suddenly remembered I had that pale pink melamine dish and I almost shrieked knowing I would get to serve those little jewels in the same type of dish my mom always did. Crazy memories.
Maybe it's all about where you're from if you call them salmon patties or salmon croquettes, but the recipes for them all are pretty similar. A few ingredients may vary, sort of like meatloaf, but they are pretty forgiving. You can stretch ingredients or switch and substitute to your liking and they will still be amazing! If you've never tried any, you should try Mrs. Boney's (a lady from our church), but if you can't do that, try your hand at making these - you'll be glad you did.
WHAT YOU NEED:
2 - 16 oz cans pink salmon
(drained and picked clean of stray bones and skin)
1 medium onion, diced
1 stack of saltine crackers, crushed and crumbled
1-2 tablespoons mustard (any kind)
2-3 tablespoons dill pickle juice
cornmeal to lightly coat the patties
butter/oil to pan fry
--Yield: appx. 18 patties
You can easily cut this recipe in half,
but the extras are super great as leftovers!
WHAT TO DO:
Drain salmon and gently remove any bones from the fish
and place the meat into a medium size bowl.
These bones crumble with the slightest pressure,
if you miss a few, it is NO. BIG. DEAL.
The whole process is kind of fun and gross all at the same time.
Add remaining ingredients to the salmon
and stir with a heavy spoon (or your hands).
Heat a heavy frying pan or skillet on medium heat.
Add in enough oil/fat to come up the sides of the pan
to about 1/2 to 1 inch. You basically want the fat
to come up halfway to your salmon patties when they are frying.
While the oil comes up to heat,
grab a handful of the salmon mixture and form into a ball
then flatten to make a patty about the size of a soup can
(as was traditional growing up - we make ours a bit bigger these days)
Set the patties aside gently until all are made
-you can also refrigerate until ready to fry.
When you are ready to fry these little treasures
gently coat each side with a bit of cornmeal
-this will add a great little crunch to them after they are fried.
Now, fry those puppies up.
Fry on each side until a golden color.
Drain on paper towels and continue.
These are great served up with a little tartar sauce,
slice of lemon and your favorite sides.
This particular meal we had sauteed okra, tomatoes and bacon
to go along with our salmon patties...mmm.