Don’t you love it when your negligence leads to something great? I left a full salmon steak in my refrigerator for a week, and even though it was originally frozen and still vacuum-packed, I was worried it might not taste as good after sitting for so long.
So I made these tasty salmon croquettes from Saveur magazine, thinking that bread crumbs, onions, and Old Bay would help the salmon. But if you look at the picture at the top, they kind of look like burgers, right?
It got me wondering, what makes a croquette different from a burger?
My Food Lover’s Companion – a great food dictionary that I’ve used many times on this blog and that I recommend highly – says that a croquette is a mixture of meat and vegetables that are formed into a round shape, dipped in egg and bread crumb, fried, and served with a white sauce. Yet the recipe I used from Saveur did not include the egg/bread crumb step or a white sauce.
But the Saveur croquette is indeed fried, and this, I think, is the difference between a croquette and a burger.
Whether you prefer to deep fry or pan fry your patties, hop on over to Saveur for the salmon croquette recipe, and come back here for step-by-step pictures.
1. Start with a Salmon Fillet: Saveur says to start with 1 1-lb salmon fillet. I had no idea if this fillet was a pound, but I went with it anyway. I figured I could always add more bread crumbs if the croquettes/burgers were too wet or more egg if they were too dry.
2) Cook the Salmon (top left): The salmon is gently cooked in a hot liquid mixture of water, wine, Old Bay, and salt for about 10 minutes
3) Discard skin; break salmon into small pieces (top right): Once the salmon is done cooking, let it cool, and then scrape off the skin, which comes off very easily with a fork. Then use the same fork to cut your salmon into small pieces, and add it to a bowl with your other ingredients (chopped onions, bread crumbs, eggs, lemon juice.) The recipe also calls for green onions and butter, which I left out. Mix everything and refrigerate for 1/2 hour.
4) Form into patties (lower left): Once the mixture is chilled, you can form it into patties. Saveur says the patties should be then be refrigerated again for an hour or overnight, but I skipped this step because it was 9:30 by the time I got this far and we had to eat dinner! Still, I thought the patties still held together just fine.
5) Pan fry or fry: Here is where you can decide if you want to make croquettes or burgers. I went with a burger-type salmon patty and pan-fried mine.
I made about 8 good-size patties with this recipe.