Friday, June 3, 2011

Salmon Burgers

How many of you think making a salmon burger is a complicated, time-consuming process? I did. But it’s neither. In fact, you can crank out these salmon burgers in about the same time it takes to heat a frozen pizza. And they are good.

You might even have most of the ingredients on hand for this recipe: salmon, Dijon mustard, shallots, bread crumbs and capers. The “secret” is that you let the food processor do most of the work, followed by a little stirring. Shape the burgers, cook them in a nonstick skillet, and you’re done.

These burgers are firm but juicy, and the capers add a nice surprise to each bit. Dress them any way you wish or let them hold their own on a bed of greens. To each his own. Bon appétit!

Salmon Burgers
Makes 4 burgers

1 ½ pounds skinless, boneless salmon
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 shallots, peeled and cut into chunks
½ cup coarse bread crumbs
1 tablespoon capers, drained
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
Lemon wedges
Tabasco sauce
Optional burger toppings: lettuce, red onion, Provolone, tartar sauce

Cut the salmon into large chunks, and put about a quarter of it into the container of a food processor, along with the mustard. Turn the machine on and let it run – stopping to scrape down the sides if necessary – until the mixture becomes pasty.

Add the shallots and the remaining salmon, and pulse the machine until the fish is chopped and combined with the puree. No piece should be larger than a quarter inch or so; be careful not make the mixture too fine.

Scrape the mixture into a bowl, and stir in the bread crumbs, capers and some salt and pepper. Shape into four burgers.

Place the butter or oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet, and turn the heat to medium-high. When the butter foam subsides or the oil is hot, cook the burgers for 2 to 3 minutes a side, turning once. Alternatively, you can grill them: let them firm up on the first side, grilling about 4 minutes, before turning over and finishing for just another minute or two. To check for doneness, make a small cut and peek inside. Be careful not to overcook. Serve on a bed of greens or on buns or by themselves, with lemon wedges and Tabasco or any dressing you like.

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