Southern Alaska Salmon Cakes

Such a fresh welcome to our long Alaskan winters of no gardens and limited healthy produce in the stores; CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) is that box  that happily arrives with and-yet-more root veggies, some with odd shapes and sizes and the list calls them things like “celeriac” or “sunchokes”. And this is suppose to go with and-yet-more salmon (or perhaps halibut) deep into our freezer stores… really?

Yes, really! and delicious. Although you might not think salmon cakes when you look at that rooty celeriac, this amazing recipe adheres Paleo, SCD, GAPS and just plain healthy eating with local whole foods.

Celeriac, the root of a plant related to celery, has a subtle taste somewhere between parsley and celery. The sunchoke, also called a Jerusalem artichoke, is a root from a plant in the sunflower family with a sweet taste somewhere between a potato and an artichoke. Both root vegetables are available year round. They can be cooked and eaten just like potatoes (boiled, mashed, buttered, …) or try this recipe for a unique and healthy twist on a classic favorite.

And right about now, we Alaskans also begin searching for new ideas for the pounds of frozen salmon still stocked in our freezers.

Wild-caught Alaskan salmon is one of those amazingly healthful fish with a perfect balance of high protein and “good fats” (the prized omega-3 fatty acids). And, did you know that a 4 oz serving provides a full day’s requirement of vitamin D? It is one of the few foods that can make that claim. That same piece of fish contains over half of the necessary B12, niacin, and selenium, and is an excellent source of B6 and magnesium.

Unfortunately, most store-bought salmon is farm-raised and should be avoided. Several studies have found high concentrations of PCBs, heavy metals such as lead and cadmium, and other contaminants in farmed salmon. In the U.S., farmed salmon are regulated through the USDA and FDA, which allows much higher levels of these contaminants than are allowed with wild salmon, which is regulated by the EPA. These contaminants seem to be getting to the fish through commercial fish feed and then become concentrated in the oil of the salmon.

So, grab those tubers and wild salmon and make yourself this fabulous meal!

Serves 6

Ingredients

1.5 pounds salmon filet
2 small or 1 large celeriac, or about 5 sunchokes
2 Tbs butter
1 clove garlic
½ large onion (or 1 small)
1 stalk celery
 cup almond flour (ground almonds)
¼ tsp sea salt
½ tsp lemon zest
2 eggs
½ tsp Cholula hot sauce
Olive oil or butter for frying
2 lemons cut into wedges
 

Preparation

1.       Steam or pan cook the salmon and let cool. Remove any skin.

2.       Steam the celeriac or sunchokes. Note: do not boil these or they will have too much water in them and make the patties too runny. Allow to cool.

3.       Crush the garlic clove and finely chop the onion and celery stalk.

4.       Melt the butter in a sauce pan and add finely chopped onion and crushed garlic. Gently heat and then add the finely chopped celery. Saute until the onion is translucent and remove from heat.

5.       Mix the almond flour with the sea salt and lemon zest.

6.       Mix in the eggs and stir to combine. Mix in the hot sauce.

7.       Mash the celeriac or sunchokes and stir into the almond mixture.

8.       Stir in the cooked onion, garlic and celery mixture.

9.       Crumble the salmon into the almond mixture and mix to combine.

10.   Heat a frying pan with enough olive oil or butter to cover the bottom. The oil is hot enough when a drop of water sizzles in the oil.

11.   Form the salmon mixture into patty shapes with your hands, these should be just a couple of inches across or they will be hard to handle.

12.   Place the patties on the warm frying pan and cook over medium heat until browned. Flip and cook the other side until browned. Remove and place onto a warming plate. Note: if it seems like the middle is not cooking while the outside is getting too brown then lower the heat slightly. Also, I like the flavor of butter but it does seem to make for a smokier kitchen.

13.   Remove any extra crumbs from the frying pan and continue cooking the patties in batches until all the mixture is used.

14.   Garnish with lemon wedges and serve.

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