No meat for nine days?
During the nine days leading up to Tisha BAv when, because of the solemn nature of the holiday, meat, considered a more festive food, is prohibited, except on Shabbat I really dont miss the proscribed food because I tend to serve a lot of fish. Especially fresh salmon. I serve it grilled, broiled, poached, and pan-fried. And everyone likes my salmon burgers, since I start with fresh salmon (as opposed to the canned stuff); in addition, the meals are light, healthy, and delicious.
A really great salmon burger should be tender and moist with a crispy crust. You can experiment with your own mixtures of spices because salmon readily adapts to a variety of herb and spice combinations. Minced parsley, chives, garlic, onions, shallots, green onions, fresh ginger, basil, oregano, and minced jalapeno peppers are all good. Homemade and prepared sauces like Worcestershire, soy, and Tabasco add a tanginess and moisture to the mix.
Never, ever, taste the raw mixture. Bad things can happen. To check a raw mixture for seasoning, cook a teaspoon or so in an oiled pan and then taste. The burgers should be formed into quarter-pound patties about three-quarters of an inch thick. It is best to turn a burger only once during cooking. You can use these recipes right away but I find that my salmon burgers stay together better if the recipe is mixed and chilled for one to two hours before cooking.
I have included several recipes that call for canned salmon for those of you who dont want to take the time to chop up fresh fish.
FRESH SALMON BURGERS
Preheat broiler or toaster oven. In a bowl, combine mayonnaise with pickle relish and set aside. Defrost onion and green pepper in a microwave oven for 30 seconds. Remove fat from salmon and cut into two-inch cubes. Pulse in food processor with onion, bell pepper, bread crumbs, egg white, and salt and pepper to taste until chopped. Form into two three-inch patties. Heat a nonstick skillet on medium-high and spray with olive oil. Brown burgers on one side, about one minute. Lower heat to medium and cook four minutes. Turn over and cook another three minutes. Spread mayonnaise mixture on top half of rolls and place burgers on the bottom half. Top with tomato slices and close rolls. Serves two.
HERBED SALMON BURGERS
In a large bowl, combine mayonnaise and lemon juice. Add oats, stirring until moistened. Add basil, mint, scallions, and apple. Stir in salmon and teriyaki sauce until evenly combined. Shape burger mixture into four one-inch-thick patties. Spray a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Cook burgers over medium heat until brown and heated through, about four minutes per side. You can serve with tomato slices and lettuce, or top with salsa or relish. Serves four.
ROSEMARY SALMON BURGERS
2 1/2 lbs. fresh salmon fillet, skinned and deboned
Prepare salmon by cutting into strips, cutting strips crosswise, and chopping fish until well minced. Be sure to remove any remaining bones. In a large bowl, mix minced salmon with bread crumbs, red onion, Dijon mustard, horseradish, and eggs. Season with rosemary, salt, and pepper. Chill at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator. Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat. Form salmon mixture into six-eight burger patties. Lightly coat each patty with olive oil. Place salmon patties on the grill, and cook four-five minutes on each side.
HONEY-GLAZED SALMON BURGERS
In a small bowl, combine honey, ketchup, vinegar, horseradish, garlic, and red pepper flakes until well blended. Reserve half of sauce to use as a condiment. In a separate bowl, mix together remaining ingredients, except buns. Blend in two tablespoons reserved sauce. Divide salmon mixture into four patties, one-half to three-quarters of an inch thick. You can use a grill pan on the stove top or an outdoor grill. Place patties on well-oiled grill, four-six inches from hot coals. Grill, turning two-three times and basting with sauce, until burgers are browned and heated through. Serve with reserved honey barbecue sauce and buns. Makes four.
SALMON BURGERS WITH LEMON AND CAPERS
Heat four tablespoons olive oil in heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Add the green onions and saute two-three minutes. Increase heat to medium-high. Add white wine, lemon juice, and drained capers and cook until almost all liquid evaporates, about 12 minutes. Transfer onion mixture to large bowl. Refrigerate until green onion mixture is well chilled, about one hour. Using quick pulses coarsely grind salmon fillets in processor. Add ground salmon to green onion mixture. Mix in fresh bread crumbs, beaten eggs, dill, one-and-a-half teaspoons salt and three-quarters teaspoon pepper. Form salmon mixture into 10 patties, dividing equally. (Salmon patties can be prepared six hours ahead. Transfer to baking sheet, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.)
Heat one tablespoon olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add salmon patties to skillet and cook until golden brown and cooked through, about two minutes per side, adding more oil to skillet as needed. Serve salmon burgers on toasted hamburger buns with mayonnaise, lettuce leaves and tomato slices. Serves 10. (Modified from Epicurious.com.)
ORIENTAL SALMON BURGERS
Grind salmon pieces in food processor by pulsing until it is a small-chop consistency. In a bowl, mix salmon with mayonnaise, green onions, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, soy sauce, and pepper. Cover and chill one-two hours. Form into patties and cook in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, about three minutes per side, until a crisp crust forms. Serve on toasted sourdough buns with lettuce leaves and spicy mayonnaise. Makes six-eight burgers.
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