Some of you know that I have an allergic reaction to wheat, yeast and eggs (plus a few other foods). So I try to eliminate those as much as possible. Which means even foods containing just a smidge of bread or eggs to hold them together are quite literally my unraveling. And thus, blacklisted from my repertoire. Seriously, how much deprivation can one woman withstand? I love me a fish burger, but alas most use bread or bread crumbs, and almost all use eggs. What's a gal to do? Being stubborn and wanting what I want is when the thinking cap needs to be fully stretched and used to its fullest. Unscramble the mystery and find another way to hold the darn thing together.
I remember seeing a recipe a while back that whizzed up part of the protein to make a paste. Paste... that definitely holds shit together. So, with the sticky part done I needed to fill up the rest. Here is the fun part. You can, seriously, add a long list of accompaniments like; kale, spinach, corn, mushrooms and so on. Alas, I only had some basics on hand: onions, celery, peppers, scallions. So, that's what I used, and they worked out just fine. (Next time I will share experimenting with other fillings. Heck, don't wait for me. Be daring and test on your own.)
Burgers - Makes 6
1 lb Salmon, skin removed
1 c celery, chopped
1/3 c yellow pepper, small dice
1/3 c orange pepper, small dice
1/4 c red onion, small dice
1/4 c yellow onion, small dice
1/4 c + 2 T scallions, sliced
2 T oil
2 T capers
1 T parsley, chopped
1 t mustard
1/2 t whole grain mustard
1 t salt
1/4 t black pepper
corn meal, potato flour optional
2/3 c yogurt
2 T Kosher dill pickles, chopped
1 T parsley, chopped
1 t capers
1. 5 T lemon juice
1 T lemon zest
1/3 c sauté mixture
salt to taste
Mise en place all the vegetables as directed. Then in a cast iron pan or skillet, sauté onions, celery, peppers, 1/4 c scallions in oil, season with salt and pepper.
Let them cook slowly over low heat until softened. When done, set aside and let cool.
Meanwhile, cut the salmon into 3 equal parts. One part cut into 3/4" cubes. One part cut into 1/4" cubes. One part pulse in a mini food processor to create a paste.
Next chop the parsley and rest of scallions. In a bowl, add all three portions of salmon. Then begin adding all filling ingredients: 1/2 c of the cooled sauté mixture, capers, the mustards, 2 T scallions and parsley. Mix together until well combined, then form patties, and refrigerate for 15 minutes to 1/2 hour.
While the burgers are chilling out, move onto the relish. All it takes is a bowl to combine all the ingredients together, stirring until well incorporated. Then refrigerate until ready to serve.
After the patties have had their chilled rest and are firm, they are ready for frying. You have choices at this point. You can either fry as is without any coating, or dust them with either potato flour* or corn grits**. Using my 6 burgers I experimented making 2 of each kind to see which we liked best. Jill and JC liked them plain with no coating. I also liked the purity of the plain one, but I liked the corn grits coating due to the outer crunch. And if you search your memory banks, or this blog you will remember that I love crunch. Test which one you like best.
*If you use the potato flour coating, cook these at a lower heat since the the finer powder texture cooks faster and will burn if heat is too high.
** Corn grits are a larger grain, which gives it the crunch. But if you don't want as much crunch factor, then you can use a stone ground corn meal which has a finer texture.
I like using a cast iron skillet because the pan retains the heat and gives a nice outer crust. Fry on both sides until you see the salmon turn pink, about 2-3 minutes each side, depending on thickness.
Serve immediately with slices of tomato, arugula or boston lettuce, and some cornichons. Any lettuce works fine, but I really enjoyed how the spicy flavor of arugula plays off the salmon, Don't forget the homemade relish. It's tangy, sweet and delicious. JC and Jill both told me that they don't usually like relish, but plopped spoonfuls of my homemade version on their burgers. The next night we had fish. They broke out the relish again!
Hey, since this is such a healthy version of a burger, no bread filling or bun, go ahead and splurge by serving up some fries or a baked potato. You can even use the relish on that, too. With Memorial Day steaming down the tracks, these could be a great addition to your outdoor party.
(Note: I would not cook these directly on the grill, as they need a flat surface in order to form a crust to help hold them together.)
Just because I need to eliminate some foods doesn't mean I can't enjoy things I love.
And just because these are sans bread and egg definitely doesn't mean they are sans flavor!