A southern favorite with a little twist. Using fresh salmon and lemon zest, this is a refreshing take on the deep-fried dish. Straight from the pages of Kevin Gillespie’s Fire In My Belly!
Hi folks! I’m back from sabbatical. I’ve been working on some other areas of the site, so be on the lookout for some upcoming changes!
Today I’m sharing a recipe from Kevin Gillespie’s cookbook, Fire In My Belly, and let me say… it is so worth a read! I’ll be honest, I don’t really watch a lot of food shows. So until I received this cookbook, I had never heard of him. Some of you might know him as a finalist in the sixth season of Top Chef or from his several restaurants in Georgia (all of which are now on my bucket list)! But if, like me, you have no idea who this guy is, purchase his book. More than his interesting, out-of-the-box recipes, he also shares his interesting, out-of-the-box stories. I had as much fun reading that as I did making some of his dishes.
But let’s get back to these bad boys. This is the first time I’ve made croquettes of any kind. My first thought was, “How do I get something so soft and creamy to fry perfectly like he does?” I found the answer in my fridge. Literally. You refrigerate these to firm up. Duh. So while it takes only two minutes to fry these, make sure you leave ample time to cool periodically.
My favorite thing about this dish is how light and fresh it tastes despite being deep fried. If you love salmon and lemon, you’ll love this. However, they do need some kind of sauce to go with. They’re good alone, but even better with some kind of accompaniment. Kevin recommends either a sauce gribiche or béarnaise, both of which are recipes in his book!
So let me know what you think of this recipe, and if you like it, definitely check out his book! And no, this is not a sponsored post. I just really like it!
Until next time. X
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Items used in this recipe:
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- 2 TB butter
- 1 c. plus 1 TB flour
- 1 c. heavy cream
- nutmeg, 2 grates on a microplane
- 1/2 c. onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 TB chives, minced
- 1/2 tsp lemon zest
- pinch of cayenne
- 12 oz fresh salmon, finely diced
- 2 eggs
- 2 c. panko breadcrumbs, crushed into a semi-fine powder
- canola oil, for frying
- Melt 1 TB of the butter in a saucepan over medium high heat. Add 1 TB of the flour and stir constantly, until it is fully incorporated and begins to thicken.
- Stir in the cream and nutmeg a little at a time, making a roux. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until the sauce gets really thick.
- Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl, pressing plastic wrap to the surface, and refrigerate until cold, about 30-45 minutes. This will prevent a film collecting on the top.
- Rinse out the saucepan and return to the stove over medium low heat. Add the remaining butter and saute the onions until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for one minute more. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels and refrigerate until cold.
- In a bowl, mix the sauce, onion mixture, chives, lemon zest, chives and cayenne until thoroughly blended. Gently fold in the salmon.
- Scoop out 12 pieces of the mixture, about the size of a golf ball, and shape into cylinders or quenelles (tiny footballs). Spread them on a sheet pan lined with parchment or wax paper and refrigerate until very cold, about an hour.
- Preheat the deep fryer to 350°F. If pan-frying, heat an inch of oil in a cast iron skillet to 350°F.
- Spread the flour and panko in different shallow dishes. Whisk 2 eggs in another shallow dish. Add a pinch of salt to each dish.
- For each croquette, dip in the flour, then egg, then panko making sure to cover it fully each time. For a crisper crust, dip in the egg and then panko one more time.
- Fry until golden brown, about 2-4 minutes. If pan-frying, cook 1-2 minutes on each side.
- Drain on paper towels and serve with a sauce gribiche or Bearnaise.
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