Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Not Quite Brandade Cakes (Salmon)

Not Quite Brandade Cakes (Salmon Cakes) with Caramelized Tomatoes, Peppers and Garlic
As shared from the kitchen of Once Upon a Plate

Recipe as shown here makes 20 small cakes
Note: I quartered the following recipe
, exact measurements are not necessary just try to keep the ratio of fish to potatoes at about 50/50, then season as you wish.
Brandade is a French dish using dried cod, reconstituted then pounded and seasoned, with cream or milk added. These cakes are loosely based on that method of preparing fish, except I used freshly poached salmon, then shaped portions into cakes and coated with coarse Panko crumbs and sauteed until deeply browned and crispy.

For the caramelized tomatoes and peppers:
4 sweet (Bell) peppers, assorted colors
1 big handfuls cherry or tiny pear tomatoes
1 head of garlic, separated, cloves peeled and sliced
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the salmon cakes:
1 and 1/4 pounds salmon (I use boneless, skinless filets for this recipe)
2 large potatoes such as Russets/Bakers (to equal the weight of fish you use),
peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch slices
For the cooking water:
5 or 6 cloves garlic, peeled and cut in half
1 bay leaf
sprig fresh thyme
a few sprigs fresh parsley
For the cake mixture:
1/4 cup cream
1/2 teaspoon espelette pepper or hot paprika
Nice handful of chopped, fresh parsley leaves
Nice handful of snipped fresh chives
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Grape seed or Peanut Oil, for frying
Flour or Panko (Japanese) to bread crumbs to coat cakes

For the Peppers
Preheat oven to 300* (F)
Seed pepper and cut into thin strips, toss with the tomatoes, garlic, salt and pepper and arrange on a rimmed baking pan. Drizzle the olive oil over all, tossing vegetables with your hands to coat.
Bake until as caramelized as you like, 30 to 90 minutes. Turning once or twice.

For the cakes
Place the potatoes, bay leaf, thyme sprig and parsley in a pot and add cold water to cover by about 1-inch. Cover pot and bring to a boil, poach until the potatoes are just barely tender (about 10 to 15 minutes), then add salmon filet pieces and continue poaching until fish flakes easily.
Drain liquid and discard herbs. Separate potatoes from the fish. In a bowl mash potatoes with the cream. In a separate bowl finely flake the salmon. Combine the potatoes with the salmon and stir in the espelette pepper, chopped parsley and chives. Taste for seasonings, add salt and pepper and more hot pepper if desired.

To fry the cakes:
Pour a generous inch of cooking oil into a frying pan/skillet and heat until sizzling. Form the salmon-potato mixture into 20 small cakes. Just before frying dip them into a shallow dish of flour or Panko crumbs, pressing lightly to coat. Fry each cake on both sides until very brown and crisp. Drain on paper towels or brown paper to rid of excess oil.

To plate:
Arrange cakes on warm plates and top with a bit of the caramelized tomato-pepper mixture and enjoy!

Recipe very loosely adapted from Laura Caulder

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