These are SO very much Not-Your-Mother’s-Croquettes! Well, at least not my mother’s version of croquettes, those dreaded salmon patties of memory. My father absolutely loved those canned salmon patties with skin and bones included, while I was still in my non-seafood loving years, so it might not be fair to slight my mom’s cooking. I do remember moving them around on my plate, pushing them from side to side, wishing they would just disappear, long after the homemade crinkly French fries had been inhaled. But that was then, and these little cuties are so delicious they would tempt even the fish-avoiding me of long ago.
Working with the previous night's salmon, grilled with our Not-So-Secret Sauce, I added an equal amount of Cheesy Mashed Potatoes loaded with grated cheddar & Parmesan cheeses, cream cheese and sour cream. Next came some Italian parsley, green onions and a few seasonings. Don’t have any great tasting leftover salmon or mashed potatoes? Get creative and add some onion, bacon, lemon zest, dill weed, cheese and seasonings to plain salmon and taters – you know you want to!
Salmon Croquette recipes abound online and in hardcopy, each version with its own slight variation in ingredients and technique. I skimmed a few seafood cookbooks from my onboard collection, then decided to wing it and improvise. Many croquette recipes use bread crumbs as a binder, a lot of bread crumbs, stretching a small amount of salmon into a meatloaf-sounding dish. Replacing bread crumbs with a mashed potato mixture creates a lighter, fluffier texture that doesn’t mask the salmon component, and the light panko coating produces just enough crispy crunch without making the croquettes too bready.
Add some Cucumber Tartar Sauce to take this dish over the top. Change things up a little and form tiny patties for appetizer plates. Or pop them into small biscuits or rolls to serve as Salmon Sliders. Perhaps make larger croquettes for a more substantial entrée. Mmmmmm, I get hungry all over again just thinking about the possibilities.
Capt. Ron, it’s time to go fishing again.
Mini Salmon Croquettes with Creamy Cucumber Tartar Sauce
2 servings (6 croquettes)
For the Croquettes:
Generous ¾ cup cooked salmon (grilled with Not-So-Secret Sauce)
Generous ¾ cup Cheesy Mashed Potatoes
¼ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon dried dill
Salt & white pepper to taste
½ cup panko flakes
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated or even the dried variety in a can
1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon butter
Creamy Cucumber Tartar Sauce (recipe below)
- Add the cooked, skinned and boned salmon to a mixing bowl, and include as much of the cooking sauce (bacon, green onion, lemon, dill, etc) as possible. Add the mashed potatoes, onion powder, garlic powder, dill, salt and pepper; use a fork to mix thoroughly.
- Divide the mixture into six equal portions and form into golf-ball sized spheres. For each ball, pack together firmly and then flatten into a patty about ½-inch thick.
- Use a flat plate or pie tin and combine the panko and Parmesan cheese. Coat each salmon patty on all sides and leave on the plate with any remaining panko/cheese breading. Cover with plastic film and chill for at least one hour.
- Heat the oil and butter over medium-high heat until bubbly but not smoking. Cook the patties, turning once, until browned on the surface and warm in the center, about 1 ½ to 2 minutes per side.
For the Creamy Cucumber Tartar Sauce:
Scant ½ cup mayonnaise (homemade or purchased, or substitute MiracleWhip if you really must)
1 dill pickle sandwich spear, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon dill pickle juice
2 tablespoons chopped Spring onion, green and white parts
1 teaspoon creamy horseradish
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2-inch piece of English cucumber, diced small
1 teaspoon dried dill weed
2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley
Pinch of salt
Combine all ingredients in small bowl. Taste and adjust to suit your taste. Refrigerate until serving time.