Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Salmon Cakes with Horseradish Tartar Sauce

Salmon cakes make an easy, fast weeknight dinner—not to mention they’re tasty and good for you too. The key to keeping them light and airy is not to pack the ingredients together too tightly. Use a light touch to form puffy mounds, not dense disks. Boneless, skinless canned salmon is widely available in supermarkets now, and it makes these cakes especially lean and "clean."

Boneless, Skinless Salmon
Fresh ground horseradish provides a flavorful difference in the tartar sauce, adding a tangy, nose-tingling bite. You’ll find it in jars in the refrigerated section of the market—not in the condiment aisle where that white, creamy horseradish “sauce” is shelved.

Fresh Ground Horseradish

Serves 2

For the Tartar Sauce
  • 1/4 cup light mayonnaise
  • 3 tbsp fresh ground horseradish
  • 3 tsp dill pickle relish
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp chopped capers
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
Tartar Sauce Ingredients
For the Salmon Cakes
  • 2 6 oz. cans skinless, boneless salmon, drained and flaked
  • 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped red onion
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 large egg, whisked
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

For the Tartar Sauce
  1. Combine the mayonnaise, horseradish, relish, mustard, and capers in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes. (May be made 1 day ahead.)
Combined Ingredients
Horseradish Tartar Sauce
For the Salmon Cakes
  1. Place the salmon in a medium bowl with the next 7 ingredients (through lemon juice) and season with salt and pepper. Gently stir the mixture with a fork or spoon to incorporate.
  2. Lightly form the mixture into 4 cakes. (Don’t smash them with your palms—they’ll be too dense when they cook. Just form puffy mounds.)
  3. Lay the cakes on a plate and refrigerate 20-30 minutes. (Refrigeration helps them hold together while they cook.)
  4. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Add the cakes and cook 2-3 minutes on one side, until golden brown.
  5. Turn the cakes over and press down lightly with a spatula to help hold them together while they finish cooking.
  6. Cook 2-3 minutes longer, until golden brown on the second side. (If a cake crumbles a bit, gently push it back together with a spatula.)
Salmon Mixture
Salmon Patties 
Salmon Patties Beginning to Cook
Cooked Salmon Cakes
Serve the salmon cakes with horseradish sauce dolloped on top or in a bowl alongside.

Salmon Cakes with Horseradish Tartar Sauce

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