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‘Oops, I made a masterpiece’

September 28, 2010
By Wendy Monro

It is that time of year again. Claud and I are celebrating another year of marriage. Last year, we hosted a big party at our house in Minnesota.

That was such a fun night with cocktails, music, dancing and fajitas. We loved sharing our special day with so many friends.

This year, we are enjoying a nice quiet weekend in Los Angeles with my parents and our children.

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Submitted Photo

Salmon cake is pictured on the right.

This doesn't sound very romantic, with the kids and the folks, but it really is a weekend filled with love.

I remember flying home from London with Claud about 13 years ago and introducing him to my parents for the first time.

It feels like it was last week. I cannot believe how much time has passed since that day. This Sunday, we will have been married for twelve years and without a doubt, these have been the best twelve years of my life. I am so blessed to be married to my best friend. Being with my parents and the kids is an absolutely wonderful way to commemorate the best decision I ever made.

Fact Box

Salmon cakes:

Serves: 4

Time: 30 minutes

2 cups and 1 tablespoon olive oil

3 6oz. pieces of salmon

1 1/2 cups bread crumbs

2 large eggs

1/4 cup milk

2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning

1 teaspoon Emmeril's Essence

1 bell pepper (I used orange), chopped

3 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped

1/2 teaspoon Sirachi chili sauce

juice from one lemon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

3 cornichons (or one half of a dill pickle), chopped

2 tablespoons capers

Pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil into a skillet on medium high heat. Add the salmon and cook for about four minutes each side (until the salmon turns into an opaque color). Set aside. In a large bowl, add the bread crumbs. In another smaller bowl, combine the eggs and milk. Beat well. Add this mixture to the bread crumbs. Place the cooked salmon into the large bowl. Break the salmon up with a fork and mix it into the bread crumbs mixture. Add Old Bay, Essence, bell peppers, dill, chili sauce, lemon juice, salt, pepper, cornichons, and capers. Mix this all together well. With your hands, form the mixture into four large patties. Heat the rest of the oil in the skillet on high heat. When it gets very hot, not smoking, gently place the patties into the oil. Cook for three minutes each side. Take them out and place on a paper towel until ready to plate. Serve them with a salad or vegetables and place a dollop of sauce on top of each salmon cake.


1 cup mayonnaise

1 cup sour cream

juice from 1/2 of a lemon

1/4 teaspoon Sirachi chili sauce

1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Combine all of the above ingredients and mix well.

Of course, every celebration has to revolve around food. I gave a lot of thought to what would be a good meal to make. I wanted to come up with a new way to cook salmon. Everyone in my family loves salmon (except Jack). This is not a new idea; but, a way in which I had never before prepared salmon. So, this is new to me. I decided to make salmon cakes. I practiced these at home last week to make sure they would be delicious and they were. I wondered about the origin of the salmon cake. Who thought to throw fish together with bread crumbs and fry it up? I looked into it and I couldn't find the answer.

I think it was probably a way to work with leftovers. Someone had some extra fish and everyone in the family was sick of eating fish. This family lived in Alaska and had been eating salmon for thirty six days straight. So, whoever did all of the cooking for the family (I'm thinking it was the mom) came up with a way to change it up a bit and create a new dish. Thus, came the invention of salmon cakes. The Alaskan family were amazed and overjoyed at how delicious salmon could taste and they forgot they were sick of it.

Then, the cook turned to the family and says, "oops, I made a masterpiece."

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Well, this is how the story goes in my imagination.

A lot of very delicious dishes were conjured up as a way to reuse leftovers or to make something (like meat or fish) go a lot further to feed many people.

Shepherd's pie, bolognese, and fish pie, are a few examples of these types of dishes.

Originally, these dishes were made by poorer families. Now, people make them or order them at restaurants as a delicious main course without a thought of getting more for your money or using leftover food. They have become culinary masterpieces.

I really wanted these salmon cakes to be flavorful. So, I included cornichons, capers, fresh dill, scallions, chili sauce, and more. I was surprised to discover how quick and easy these are to make. Then, of course, I had to make a little sauce to go with them. Everything tastes better with a sauce. These salmon cakes would also make a great appetizer. You could make them smaller and place them on a platter surrounding a bowl of the sauce. It think this is how I will make them for our anniversary. Claud absolutely loved the salmon cakes and has no problem having them again. I am sure everyone will enjoy them at my parents' house.



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