Millet Salmon Cakes with Creamy Dipping Sauce
Those who have a tough time digesting wheat find millet a welcome alternative. It can be found in all health food stores and even some regular grocery stores. Leftover millet is delicious in the morning with cinnamon, berries, honey and raw milk.
Salmon Cake Ingredients:
7 tbsp butter, divided
1/2 cup 1/4″ diced red onion (approx 1/2 medium)
1/2 cup 1/4″ diced fennel (approx 1/4 bulb)
1/2 cup 1/4″ diced celery (approx 1 stalk)
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 lb salmon, skinned & steamed or poached *
2 cups cooked millet **
1/4 cup ground flax ***
1/2 cup chopped soaked walnuts
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
3 pastured eggs
Salmon Cake Instructions:
Preheat oven to 400˚. In a large cast iron skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tbsp butter. Add onions, fennel and celery. Saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally; veggies will have softened. Remove from heat, stir in parsley and set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
Using clean fingers, flake salmon into a large bowl, being careful to remove any bones. In a separate small bowl, toss cooked millet with ground flax until millet is coated. Add millet/flax mixture and walnuts to salmon without mixing, set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together sea salt, pepper, lemon zest, Dijon mustard and eggs. Add cooled sauteed vegetables to the samon bowl and pour egg mixture over the salmon. Gently toss all ingredients together with a fork. Using 1/3 cup measurement, measure out and form 12 salmon cakes.
Locate a regular sheet pan. Place 2 tbsp butter onto the sheet pan and place in the oven to melt, approximately 3 minutes. Remove pan and use a pastry brush to spread butter evenly onto the pan.
In the same large skillet used for the vegetables (no need to clean it) over medium heat, melt 2 tbsp of butter. Add six patties to the pan and saute for 4 minutes; bottoms, when checked by slightly lifting the edges with a spatula, will be lightly browned. Using a spatula and clean fingers (fingers may be used on the side of the cake, which will still be cool to assist in flipping), gently flip cakes over (browned side up) onto the buttered sheet pan. In the saute pan, melt an additional 1 tbsp of butter. Saute the second batch of salmon cakes for 4 minutes, and add those (browned side up) to the sheet pan as well. Bake cakes for 10 minutes. While cakes are baking, mix together the yogurt dipping sauce.
* I ask my fishmonger to skin & steam the salmon for me. It enables these cakes to become a simple weeknight meal. To Poach Fish at Home: Remove skin. In a large pot filled halfway with water, add 1 tbsp sea salt. Bring water to barely a simmer. Occasional bubbles will float to the surface, but the water will not be bubbly. Add salmon, bring water back to barely a simmer and cook for 25 minutes. Remove fish and drain well in a colander.
** How to cook millet: Soak 1 cup of millet overnight in water to cover by 2″ and 1 tbsp whey (optional) for 12 – 24 hours. After soaking, in a fine mesh strainer, rinse millet well. In a medium saucepan with a lid over high heat, bring 1 1/2 cups homemade chicken stock and 1/4 tsp sea salt to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cover. Simmer for 20 minutes. Turn off heat. Take off lid and let sit for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and proceed measuring 2 cups for use in this recipe. Store the remainder in the fridge to serve with beans or with cinnamon and raw milk for breakfast.
*** To preserve the delicate oils in the seed from going rancid, flax seeds should be bought whole and ground at home just before use in a clean coffee grinder. Store whole seeds in the freezer.
Creamy Dipping Sauce Ingredients:
1 cup raw creme fraiche or greek yogurt
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions, both white and green parts (approx 2 scallions)
1/4 tsp lemon zest *
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice (approx 1 lemon)
1/4 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
3 dashes cayenne pepper
Creamy Dipping Sauce Instructions:
While salmon is baking, whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl. Chill until service.
As an entree, serve 3 salmon cakes per person with 1/4 cup of creamy dipping sauce on the side, drizzled over the cakes or on the plate under the cakes. As an appetizer, serve 1 salmon cake per person with a heaping tbsp of sauce.
* Make sure to zest the lemon before juicing. It is impossible the other way around! Also, organic becomes very important when using the zest of a fruit. A stronger concentration of pesticides is found on the skin.