Recipe: Salmon and Caper Fishcakes

updated Feb 3, 2020
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

It’s highly likely that in the next several weeks you might find yourself with an abundance of leftovers.

Certain leftovers obviously work really well as, say, a sandwich. But what about mashed potatoes? Sure you could microwave them and serve them alongside the sandwich, but why not use them as the base of a whole new dish with flavors that are the complete opposite of Thanksgiving? After all that heavy food, wouldn’t it be nice to have a nice light meal? This recipe calls for fresh, poached salmon. If you prefer, you could simply use a 6 ounce can of salmon.

Salmon and Caper Fishcakes
Makes 4 patties

2 shallots or half of a small white onion, peeled and chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 stalk of celery, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon of whole black peppercorns
1/2 cup dry white wine
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 salmon fillet, 7 to 10 ounces or so
1 cup cold mashed potatoes
1 tablespoon capers
5 or 6 cornichon, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup chopped watercress
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
zest of half a lemon
3 good pinches of cayenne pepper
2 or 3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
Lemon slices to serve

First poach the fish. In a 10-inch skillet, combine onion, carrot, celery, bay leaves, peppercorns, and wine. Add enough water to come 1 1/2 inches up side of skillet. Bring the poaching liquid to a boil, reduce heat, and then simmer 15 minutes. Season salmon fillets with salt and pepper and then place in the skillet. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let stand 8 to 12 minutes. Chill the fish in the refigerator for an hour or so. This step can be day a day ahead.

In a large bowl, combine the chilled salmon fillet, the cold mashed potatoes, the capers and cornichon, the watercress, dill, lemon zest and cayenne pepper. Season with a little salt and pepper and then gently mix everything together. Be careful not to break up to salmon too much. Form the mixture into 4 patties and place on a plate line in parchment paper. Chill in the refrigerator for about 10 mintues.

Place the four in a wide, shallow bowl and season with salt and pepper. Dredge each patty in the seasoned flour. Meanwhile heat a large non-stick skillet over high heat and add the olive oil and butter. When the butter has stopped foaming, turn the heat down to medium and add the fish cakes. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on the first side and then gently flip over. They should be a nice golden brown. Continue to cook for 3 more minutes or so and then serve accompanied by a couple slices of lemon.