Sunday, November 1, 2009

Comfort Food Birthday Dinner!

This Halloween, my Dad turned 70. Happy Birthday Daddy!

We originally planned a dinner out, but his wife was unable to join us this weekend, so we decided to cook at home and watch the ball games. Dad and hubby always bet the games, so game days are big around here!

On my second trip to the store for the day (don't ask!), I was headed out to pick up candy (can't believe we forgot this...but I never ever buy it early, because I can't keep myself from eating it). The boys called while I was on the way, to ask what the menu would be. I told Dad since it was his birthday, he could choose. I gave them a few options, and (much to my surprise!) he chose salmon patties. This is one of those foods I had no idea my Dad would eat! It's always been a favorite dish of mine, and hubby loves it too. But I just didn't know Dad would eat these. And he loved them!

I asked what he wanted for side dishes, and got another surprise. "Peas." What? Yes, PEAS. Uh...are you sure? Yes, baby peas. Alrighty then! LOL Peas, I have in the freezer at all times. Peas I can definitely do!

I reminded the boys we needed a second side item, because I know these boys well, and that's not going to fill them up. Potatoes? Roasted potatoes? Easy enough! This birthday dinner was sounding better and better. Lots of my favorites in here too!

So, for anyone who has never tried salmon patties (some people call these croquettes, but ...not so much here in the South!)...try these. Especially for lovers of crab cakes - this is the same concept (only much more affordable!) And by the time I add ketchup at the table, which is my favorite condiment for these, I promise they don't even taste like fish.

You only need a few ingredients. Canned salmon, oats (yes, oats!), a lemon, some parsley, an onion, an egg or two, and some bread crumbs. Grab whatever oil you want to saute* in, find your salt and pepper, and you're good to go!

(*While we are not big on fancy cooking terms in the South, we will cheerfully use "saute" instead of "fry" to make ourselves feel better. Or at least I will! LOL)

Now. Grab a big bowl, drain the fish and crumble it. For six patties you want about 3 "regular" size cans. Finely chop a small onion and about a handful (to taste) of flat leaf Italian parsley. Juice 1/2 to 1 lemon (again, to taste). Oh, and add in a little Worcestershire sauce - about a tablespoon. Add some salt and pepper, a handful of oats, a drizzle of olive oil and 1 large egg (lightly beaten). Form into equal size patties and dredge in bread crumbs (I used about 3 parts french bread crumbs to 1 part whole wheat bread crumbs, just because that's what I had - use any crumbs you've got or make some). When you're done, they'll look something like this:

Then, heat a large skillet over medium heat and coat the bottom with oil. When it's warm (but not smoking - toss in a bread crumb and it should sizzle a bit, just gently). Add the patties (I do about three at at time - don't crowd them) and brown on both sides. It's super simple, and super yummy. Keep the first batch warm in a 225 degree oven, on paper towels. When you serve them, serve with ketchup alongside. I promise, you won't even know you're eating fish!

For the side dishes, I just cut up red and white potatoes and tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper. I have a lot of variations on this theme, some involving garlic, peppers, onions, or rosemary, because I love roasted potatoes, but hubby prefers them plain. If you do them plain, don't skimp on the salt and pepper! Roast about an hour at 375, tossing every 15 minutes. Toss again with kosher salt just before serving. And here again - just go ahead and leave the ketchup on the table, LOL!

I kept the peas simple, with just butter, salt and pepper. And voila - a super yummy birthday dinner. It doesn't get more comforting or homey than this! We all agreed it's a perfect game-day meal, too!

Hope you enjoy!

Love, Dahrlin'


Kristen said...

oh that looks so yummy!!

Jane In The Jungle said...

Tried salmon patties once, failed...maybe cause I winged it with NO recipie..will have to try this.
And which game were y'all watching?????

Live.Love.Eat said...

Happy Belated Birthday to your Dad!!! The dinner looks wonderful!!!!! That's great there are oats in the salmon patties!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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