Swimming Upstream


From the files comes a recipe for Potato Chip-Crusted Salmon from an October 2005 For Me Magazine.  I like salmon, I like potato chips, maybe it’s like a no-fry fried chicken in baked salmon form.  Well, there’s a reason there’s no such thing as chicken fried salmon – so oily!  Salmon is baked in a covering of crushed kettle-cooked chips, lime zest, dill, and olive oil, looking alluring enough.  But it is unbearably greasy, leaving my mouth feeling chalky and coated.  For a fish that is practically half fat (but good fat!), adding an oily crust is too much.

Left with more than a pound of this dish that I didn’t like, the fish itself was not of particular quality on its own either.  Alone in a salad would have made me miserable.  I ventured on making the most of it.  First were the Corn and Salmon Pancakes from Judith Jones’ The Pleasures of Cooking for One.  Easy enough with all the ingredients in house – salmon, an egg, corn, flour, scallions, and dill – they were more like a thin pancake than a plump crab cake.  Nice, but only for one meal, as I was Cooking for One.  There was still a pound to go.

Enter Bon Appetit’s Salmon Sandwich on Ciabatta from the May 2010 issue.  Made with a Piment d’Espelette Mayonnaise – mayo, shallots, lemon juice, sherry vinegar, lime zest, and smoked paprika (a substitute for the more rarefied Piment d’Espelette) – it transformed my stink fish into the best fish salad.  Joined up with pepper-y arugula on a chewy ciabatta, I could have had sandwiches for days.  But I moved on…

I became intrigued with Panfried Salmon Potato Cakes in the cookbook from Vij’s, the incredible Indian restaurant in Vancouver.  Unlike Judith Jones’ salmon cakes, potato and sweet potato made these fluffy and light.  Coriander, jalapeno, onion, cilantro, and cumin completed them with fragrance and spice.  Absolutely fantastic – alone, with baby greens, with an egg on top, and in a sandwich.  From sad to success.

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