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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Jalapeno Salmon Burgers


From the Chicago Tribune's Best Recipes of 2008 list, these are Jalapeno Salmon Burgers (scroll way down for the recipe) from the book, Fish Without a Doubt, by Rick Moonen. Since I already owned the book, I thought I should give these a try posthaste. And we really liked the way these little burger/patties came out. They tasted great.

BUT they were a pain in the a** to make. There's salmon to be chilled, skinned (if you forget to ask the market to do it) and diced, vegetables to be finely diced, and egg whites to be whipped to soft peaks. Everything is mixed together and the egg whites are folded in. Moonen said the mixture would be loose, so I was prepared for that. But it was so loose that I couldn't shape burgers with my hands and took more of a pancake batter approach, which worked fine. Initially they held together. Then when it came time to flip them, well, the first one sort of flipped and shattered. I quickly smooshed everything back together and in the end I did get an almost complete patty. My second was a little better. (These would be a train wreck on the grill. They need a flat pan to work.)

There's a steep learning curve though. My second batch worked much better because I knew how delicately I needed to be. I ended up lifting the patty with one spatula, carefully turning over onto another spatula and sliding it back into the pan. And I suggest you do the same, unless to like salmon hash. Salmon Hash ain't bad.

Chef Moonen recommends a pita as the bread for your burger, but I think these Brownberry Sandwich Thins are a better choice. These are 100% whole wheat (they also make a multi-grain) and are little softer than a whole wheat pita, more like a burger bun. I use them for everything. Should you have a disaster and the burger break apart, just heap it all on the bun for a loose-meat sandwich - or heap it into a pita. It will still taste good.

So in the end, for a salmon burger, I was left with quite a few dirty pans. But my what a tasty, spicy burger. The burger didn't really need any toppings because it is filled with flavors, but you could add whatever you like. It occurred to me that honey-mustard would be good. I served the salmon burger with Fine Cooking's Cilantro-Lime slaw (from 96). This tangy, crunchy slaw is a great match. I will make these again despite everything. And I think things will go better the next time because I know what to expect.
Leftovers reheat well in the oven, covered loosely with foil.


3 comments:

Amy said...

It does sounds like a P.I.T.A, but it also sounds fabulous with that slaw!!!

Proud Italian Cook said...

Even though they were alot of work, they look and sound great!!

Desmone007 said...

Hi Toni! Thanks for sharing all your hard work with us! Sounds like a good recipe.

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