My mother's salmon croquettes were one of my favorite dishes as a kid. Crunchy, savory, and a little sweet, I had no idea about the history of these gems of African American cuisine. Salmon had been commercially canned since about 1824, but international production and sale really took off in the 1930s - right before the Great Crash. However, during the post-WWII recovery and the rise of the middle class, canned salmon and salmon croquettes entered the regular rotation for dinner in many a household.
Luckily, the quality of canned salmon has vastly improved in the last decade. Lovely, rich and flavorful wild salmon is available in large and small groceries. It is also a lot less salty than their predecessors. I like using homemade mayonnaise, which has a wonderful fresh flavor, and a little bit of quinoa flour as a binder. These are fast, easy, and simple to make - plus heart healthy and delicious.
For the mayonnaise:
1 egg yolk, at room temperature
3/4 cup mild extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
The key to perfect homemade mayo is technique.
1. Place the egg yolk in a large bowl.
2. Using a whisk or hand blender, beat the yolk until creamy.
3. Still beating, slowly stream the oil into the bowl in very small quantities - adding more oil as the mixture becomes completely emulsified and starts to lighten in color. Keep adding and beating until all of the oil is incorporated and you have a thick mixture.
4. Beat in the vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper until smooth. Use immediately.
For the Salmon Croquettes:
12 ounces sustainably caught wild salmon, packed in water
1/2 cup homemade mayonnaise
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1/4 cup quinoa flour
1/4 cup green onions, finely chopped (green and white parts)
1 tablespoon fresh shallots, minced very fine
1 tablespoon fresh dill, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
Pinch sea salt and white pepper
1. Set your oven rack about 5 inches under the broiler. Set the broiler on low.
2. Drain the salmon and place in a large bowl. Flake the meat and remove any bones. Add the quinoa flour and toss gently to coat the salmon.
3. In a small bowl mix together the mayonnaise, mustard, dill, parsley, shallots, salt, and white pepper. Add the mayonnaise mixture to the salmon and mix gently to coat. Let sit for 5 minutes.
4. Using a large spoon, scoop out just under a 1/4 cup of salmon mixture and create a slightly mounded patty. Place patties 1" apart on a baking sheet that has been lightly oiled.
5. Place the baking sheet under the broiler. Cook for 8-10 minutes on each side.