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Grandma's Salmon Patties

This recipe is old as the hills, but still very timely and well-loved by old and young alike. It's a great way to get finicky persons to eat fish and increase their intake of Omega 3's. Served up with a bowl of fluffy mashed potatoes and a bottle of catsup, salmon patties are a favorite Texas supper. Growing up, we called these salmon croquettes, but croquettes are round, almost like meatballs and, although "patty" doesn't sound quite as elegant, its flat shape cooks quicker and more evenly.

Although this recipe originally called for crushed saltines, these days I use cracker meal (McCormick's is a good brand). It's convenient, and its fine crumbs cover and adhere to the patties better than cracker crumbs.

  • 15-ounce can red salmon, drained
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 18 to 20 saltine crackers, crushed OR about 1/2 cup cracker meal
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons canola or olive oil
Mash the drained salmon in a bowl. Add the chopped onion, egg and black pepper. Mix well. Shape into six patties and set aside.

Place a sheet of waxed paper on the counter top. Pour the crushed saltines or cracker meal in the center of the waxed paper and level with a knife or other straight edge. One at a time, set each patty into the crumbs. Flip the sides of the waxed paper up to distribute crumbs on top of the patty. Using a pancake turner, press gently but firmly to make sure crumbs adhere, top and bottom. Use fingers to press crumbs into sides of the patty. With one hand, slide the turner under the patty to lift out of the crumbs. Transfer to your other hand -- don't grasp it, just place it in your palm. Let excess crumbs fall back onto the waxed paper. Set patty aside. Repeat until all patties are coated.

Heat just enough canola oil to cover the bottom of a large skillet over medium-high heat. When oil starts to shimmer, carefully add the patties to the pan, one at a time. Fry patties on one side until golden, then gently turn and fry other side. Canned salmon is already cooked, so it only takes a few minutes of frying time per side to get a nice, golden result. Drain patties on paper towels and serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6, depending upon appetites. Makes 6 patties.

Note: Persons wishing to avoid eggs can substitute Egg Beaters or other egg substitute with good results in this recipe.

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