Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Salmon Burgers with Cabbage Blue Cheese Slaw and Andalusian Rice Salad

Day 22

This week, we have a special visitor in our house. His name is Fritz, and he’s a miniature Schnauzer who belongs to my sister- and brother-in-law.  He has only been with us for two days, and we’re already in love.
Copyright, Doug Kapustin Photography, 2013
 As I write this, he and my Basset Hound Emmy are resting beside me, Fritz wrapped in a cozy sweatshirt and Emmy curled in her usual position. Just having dogs in our lives make us happier, at least, that’s the general consensus in our household.

Last night, I decided that we would have a no-fuss, no frills dinner since we have the added responsibility of Fritz’s care for the next few weeks. Initially, I was thinking of hamburgers and broccoli cheese rice, but then I decided on a healthier version of that same dinner. Instead of hamburgers, I opted for salmon burgers, and instead of a heavy rice side dish, I chose a Spanish rice salad that is perfect hot, cold, or at room temperature. 

Salmon burgers are very versatile; using sockeye salmon is the key, whenever it’s available. And, interestingly, canned salmon works quite nicely if fresh isn’t available to you. Most of us agree that dill and salmon are the perfect pair, so I always make sure I have lots of fresh dill for the burger mixture as well as for the cabbage slaw. 

Copyright, Doug Kapustin Photography, 2013
I think I got the salmon burger recipe from an old Real Simple magazine, and I took the recipe for the slaw and changed it to match my flavor preferences. The rice salad recipe is one of my treasures from my very dear friend, Mrs. Overbey, who has always been an inspiration to me, whether in life or in the kitchen!          

I hope you will try this altered, healthier version of a hamburger platter! It’s a great meal for a busy night, and everything can be made ahead, requiring only that the salmon burgers be grilled just before serving. 

Thanks to their keen noses, both Emmy and Fritz were anxiously waiting in the kitchen as I cooked the burgers, hoping for any accidental spills. 

Salmon Burgers

2 lbs. salmon, skin removed (Sockeye Salmon is best, if available)
1 large egg plus 1 large egg white
1 tbs. whole grain Dijon mustard
1 tsp. prepared horseradish 
2 cloves minced garlic
½ cup fresh bread crumbs (day old baguette in food processor or 1 slice loaf bread)
1 tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. black pepper
¼ fresh dill, chopped

3 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
4 pretzel rolls, toasted
Mince all salmon, then place in Ziploc bag and pound with rolling pin or meat tenderizer until mashed. Place salmon in large bowl with egg, egg white, mustard, horseradish, garlic, bread crumbs, dill, salt, and pepper. Mix well, using clean hands to incorporate all ingredients. 

Form 4 patties. Place on medium-hot griddle heated with olive oil and grill 4-5 minutes per side. Top with Cabbage Blue Cheese Slaw on a toasted pretzel roll. Serve immediately. 

Cabbage Blue Cheese Slaw

1 small head of cabbage, shredded
½ cup fresh dill, chopped
¼ cup chopped cilantro
½ cup crumbled Blue cheese
½ cup plain Greek yogurt
½ cup mayonnaise
1 tbs. fresh lemon juice
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper

Mix all ingredients and toss well. Refrigerate at least 1 hour to allow flavors to blend. Serve atop salmon burgers.

Andalusian Rice Salad

8 cups cooked basmati rice
½ cup olive oil
1 tbs. white wine vinegar
2 tbs. lemon juice
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. black pepper
5 small green onions, chopped with green
1- 4oz. jar pimentos, drained
1 bunch chopped parsley (cilantro or Italian are best)

Toss all ingredients gently and refrigerate until ready to serve for a cold salad. If you prefer room temperature, cover and set aside until time to serve. The salad can also be served hot. 

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