Wednesday, March 23, 2011

It's a Family Thing

Last week, my mom and I taught my daughter Emily how to make an old family recipe. My mom's salmon patties is one of Emily's favorite meals. It's what she wants for her birthday dinners or anytime she has a choice. Since we were with Mom in Rockport for spring break, she asked Mom to make them for her. Instead we taught her how to cook them herself so that when she has her first apartment next year, she'll be able to make them for herself.

I call them my mom's salmon patties, but this recipe has been passed down from my grandmother or maybe even my great-grandmother. It's fairly simple. A basic white sauce of milk, butter and flour, canned salmon, an egg, saltine cracker crumbs, corn meal and oil for frying. I don't know why we love these so, but we do. It's just one of those things we make that say "home." And now, a new generation knows how to make them.

Mom's Salmon Patties

1 cup milk
1 TBSP. butter
2 TBSP flour
1 can pink salmon (large can, not the tuna sized can)
1 egg
crushed saltine cracker crumbs
canola oil

In a large saucepan, combine the milk, butter, and flour over medium heat. Whisk together and stir continuously until the sauce thickens. Add in one can salmon (I typically drain a little of the liquid from the can before adding to the white sauce), and mix in. Remove saucepan from heat and quickly beat in one egg. (This needs to be done quickly so that the egg doesn't scramble.) Add in cracker crumbs until the mixture is just firm enough to form into patties. Form the mixture into oval flattened patties. Coat each pattie with the cornmeal. Heat about 3/16's of an inch of canola oil in a large skillet. Fry the patties on each side. Drain on paper towels and serve with ketchup and worcestershire sauce. Makes about 8 patties and serves 4 to 5 depending on appetites.

A couple of things: These really don't taste near as good the second time around. But then that wasn't a problem for my family when we were growing up. And many times we will add in a smaller can of salmon to make more for a larger crowd. Thankfully this recipe is fairly flexible.

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