For more than two decades, Atlantic Salmon have been grown in controlled environments off the coast of Tasmania. For a few years, the retail price of the salmon was quite high but, as production volumes grew, the price gradually fell to a level below that of many long-established popular wild-caught fish varieties.
The availability of fresh salmon, with its high Omega-3 oil content, vibrant colour and multiple cooking-style options, has been a boon for consumers; ditto for the supply of cured or smoked salmon at prices well below what our parents’ generation had to fork out for products imported from Scandinavia and Scotland.
In our home, we use smoked salmon in various ways through the year; asparagus & hollandaise sauce or eggs which have been scrambled or poached are perfect partners and it works well in a carbonara-style of pasta sauce. We prepare fresh salmon in three ways: raw, thin slices with a herb and tomato salsa; cutlets flavoured with our homemade baharat; and this recipe, adapted from one published many years ago by a Tasmanian salmon producer.
The recipe specifies salmon trimmings or mince. If, as we do, you know a fishmonger who supplies either of these, it will be at least 25% cheaper than a piece of filleted salmon. If not, buy fillets and cut them into a small dice.
½ cup chopped spring (green) onions
2 sticks of celery heart, finely chopped
500g of salmon mince or trimmings
1½ cups fresh breadcrumbs
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley (a small amount of dill could be included)
zest of a whole lemon or 2 tsp finely chopped rind of preserved lemon
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp sea salt flakes
½ tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp Tabasco sauce
- Melt butter in a wide pan, add spring onions and celery and sauté gently for about 5 minutes or until softened; allow to cool briefly.
- Place salmon in a large mixing bowl.
- Add onion mixture, breadcrumbs, parsley and lemon and mix well.
- Place the egg, mustard, salt, pepper and Tabasco in a small bowl and beat to combine. Add to salmon mix, stir and then use your fingers to combine thoroughly.
- Form the mix into about 15 croquettes (rissoles). I use a dessert spoon to help form the croquettes.
- Heat a knob of butter and 1 tbsp oil in the pan over medium heat. In batches of 5-6, sauté croquettes for about 2 minutes on each side, reduce heat and cook through (another 3-5 minutes, depending on size).
In warm weather, the croquettes work well with a tossed, tomato-rich salad. In cooler weather, I might serve them with a tomato-based pasta-style sauce; on a bed of cous cous and rocket with some tomato relish; or, as I did this time, combined with cooked spiral pasta and passata as a pasta bake topped with a light sprinkling of dry mozzarella cheese. Another version of the recipe, which I use to prepare a light lunch with friends, reduces the quantity of breadcrumbs by half and adds an extra egg to produce the filling for a very tasty pie made using fillo pastry.