Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Have Leftovers Got You Down?

I despise throwing away anything that at one point had been perfectly good food.

Kenny and I decided to forgo our Costco membership this year. Although we had mastered the art of checking out without buying the kitchen sink we would still end up with too much food that would eventually land in the trash. We called these endeavors "hands only" shopping trips. Pretty effective for shopping Costco on a budget; although, we still ended up with food we wouldn't ordinarily buy. For instance, we currently have a whiskey soaked English cheddar which has been sitting in the back of the fridge for about a month. Its pretty gross if you ask me; unfortunately, about a pound remains.

I approach eating all my groceries in two ways. The first is by cooking meals for "two." I have a great cookbook created by Eating Well Magazine, called Eating Well Serves Two. It is probably my most used cook book ever, surprising as it was published only about six months ago. So far my favorite meals have been Caramelized Onion & Green Olive Pizzas, Chicken & Fennel Flatbread, and my favorite, Fennel Sauerkraut with Sausage & Potatoes. I have yet to try a disappointing recipe. Eating Well is also a great magazine that I would highly recommend to anyone interested in learning about and cooking healthy cuisine. In the winter we fell in love with the Oven Barbecued Brisket, and the Butternut Squash and Leek Lasagna.

My second, and far less successful, method of preventing grocery spoilage is to eat the same thing over and over again until gone. This really doesn't work out very well. I eat too much of one thing, get tired of it, forget about it, discover it moldy in the back of the fridge a month later.

Luckily after buying four pounds of salmon for Mother's Day and having quite a lot of it left over, I devised a way to make use of it quickly along with a slew of other ingredients hidden in the produce drawer. The salmon already had a light spattering of Soy Vay Island Teriyaki marinade so I went with an Asian theme when choosing ingredients. The end result was delicious, so good I even ate the leftovers of these leftovers cold over lettuce with some vinaigrette.

Monique's Leftover Salmon Cakes
Makes 6 servings
  • 3 1/2 cups cooked salmon
  • 1 large shallot minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger
  • 2 tablespoons tamari
  • 1/8 cup cilantro
  • 1/2 cup scallions
  • 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs (regular are okay too, Panko are Japanese and coarser than regular bread crumbs)
  • 2 extra large eggs
  • Extra Panko to coat patties
  • Canola Oil
  • Lemon for garnish

Break the cooked salmon up into little bits with a fork. Add shallot, ginger, tamari, cilantro, scallions, Panko, and eggs to salmon and mix together.

Pour extra Panko onto a plate. Form mixture into six balls (they should fit into your palm), then lay in the Panko and smoosh down to a patty about 3/4" thick.

Heat Canola oil in a pan over med-high heat. Cook patties in the oil turning when golden, about 3 minutes per side. Unless you have a humongous pan, you'll probably have to cook in batches. When you remove the browned patties lay on a papertowel to soak up excess oil.

Serve over greens or on a hamburger bun.



Laura said...

mmmm those look gooooood....i love love love the blog dude, keep it up- i will definitely spread the cooking word!

Ephraim said...

Awesome! I just drooled on my keyboard. Love the new blog Monique - keep it up. In the spirit of your blog, I want to share a new culinary discovery of mine: mashed avacado with feta cheese.

I recently wanted some tasty guacamole dip without wanting all the trouble of chopped onions, tomato, garlic, etc. So I just mached up the avacados and added feta cheese. It turned out to be delicious - doesn't need any seasonings and can be used in multiple ways. What do you think? See you in 4 months on my coast!!!

Monique Llamas said...

Thanks for the encouragement. Next on my list of things to do: buy avocados and feta cheese. I'm envisioning putting it on crusty bread or tortilla chips. I actually have used those two along with mango, with mixed greens, with a mango ginger vinaigrette. You've never really had salad until you've had this one. I'll blog about it soon.
Thanks again!!!