Photo by Joseph De Leo; styled by Mariya Yufest
Quintessential Chesapeake fare, crab cakes make for a quick, sturdy weeknight dinner, but sometimes -- especially during the holidays when extra cash is spread crepe-thin -- they're an easy way to dent a budget. Instead of ditching the jumbo lump for scrawny leg meat, cast your line for canned salmon instead, which is infinitely more flavorful and turns what would have been a grocery store run into a pantry raid.
Keeping pace with this wallet-friendly approach are panko bread crumbs, which serve not only to extend and stiffen the fish cakes from within, but also to cloak each cake with armor-like shards that, upon hitting the pan, protect the moist interior that would otherwise threaten to stick ungracefully to its the searing surface. No apprehensive scraping of your spatula beneath each cake, no hazardous reshaping of ill-flipped patties that disassemble in midair. (There's no use in being thrifty if part of your meal is left adhered to the pan.) As a bonus, the smaller size of these cakes means some of the crunchy coating makes it into every bite. They can also be formed, coated in crumbs, and frozen (first on a baking sheet, and then packed into freezer-safe bags) for dinners down the road.
What to serve with these seemingly super-powered salmon patties? We think they need nothing more than a bed of baby spinach and a squeeze of lemon. How easy is that?
Chesapeake Spiced Salmon Cakes
1 (14.75 ounces) can wild caught pink salmon, drained
1 2/3 cup panko breadcrumbs, divided
2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning or other seafood seasoning
1/3 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons safflower or canola oil
Lemon wedges for serving
How do you enjoy canned seafood on a budget? Share your tips and ideas in the comments section below.
Like this post? See the Easy Everyday topic from last week: Mulled Cider Spice Sachets.