Simple Dinner – Salmon Croquettes with Asparagus and Rice Pilaf

My husband and oldest daughter went on a college visiting trip, leaving my younger daughter and me to fend for ourselves.  We schemed about the restaurants we wanted to try, but in the end, made this simple dinner.  It was a school night, after all!

Salmon Croquettes with Asparagus and Rice Pilaf

Ingredients:

  • 2 small cans boneless, skinless salmon (the bones and skin are actually good for you, but they creep me out), or 1 large can (I couldn’t find boneless in the large size)
  • mayonnaise
  • Dijon mustard
  • panko (Japanese bread crumbs — you can substitute regular bread crumbs)
  • 1 egg
  • chives
  • salt and pepper
  • other optional mix-ins: red pepper, red onion, and/or shallot
  • For side dish: asparagus, rice pilaf (see my notes below)

Instructions:

1) Make the salmon croquettes (I like to call them croquettes because “salmon patties” sounds so downscale!) so they have some refrigerator time before you cook them.  This will keep them from falling apart.  Combine the salmon (drained), a large dollop of mayonnaise (about 2 T.), a smaller dollop of mustard (about 1 T.), some panko (about 1/4 cup), the egg, chopped chives, salt and pepper.  In the past, I’ve also added finely chopped red or yellow pepper and finely chopped shallot or red onion.

2) Roughly divide the mixture into the number of patties you want (I got 6 out of 2 small cans of salmon).  Push the mixture to the side of the bowl and pour about another 1/4 cup of panko into the other side of the bowl.  Pick up a portion-sized amount of salmon mixture and roll into a ball.  Gently roll the ball in the panko to evenly coat, and very gently, flatten the ball with your palms until it’s patty sized.

3) When you’ve formed all the patties, put them in the refrigerator while you make the rest of dinner.  They should be in the fridge about 20-30 minutes.

4) Start the rice.  This time, I bought boxed rice pilaf, which my daughter loves.  I usually avoid it because of the high sodium level and because adding a mysterious spice packet into the rice does not seem Good Enough.  I would usually buy a brown rice blend from the Whole Foods bulk bins and cook the rice in chicken broth with a small pat of butter.  NOTE: if you’re making rice that takes 50-60 minutes to cook, start the rice before the salmon croquettes.

5) Make your veggie.  I snapped off the ends of the asparagus, put them in a Pyrex dish and tossed them with olive oil, salt and pepper, and roasted them at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes.

6) While the rice and asparagus are cooking, fry your patties.  Heat a skillet and add canola and/or olive oil when the pan is hot.  Fry for perhaps 5 minutes on each side.  I like them really brown.

Forgive the imprecision of these instructions, but I adapted this “recipe” from the back of a salmon package years ago and now I just make them by feel.

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