Eating: One of my favorite quick, go-to menus for when I forgot to plan something for dinner or when I am short on time is Salmon Patties with Pesto Pasta. The ingredients are always on hand at my house. Prepare yourself for receiving my top-secret recipes...
Salmon Patties (adapted from the recipe on the back of the package)
1 large pouch of salmon
about 1/2 C. bread crumbs (I use the Progresso ones, unflavored)
about 1/4 C. frozen corn (or by all means, fresh if you have it)
about 1/4 C. finely chopped red and/or yellow bell pepper (we nearly always have some peppers sliced and in the freezer)
2 T. butter (use real butter, it really is that much better than any of the fake stuff)
In a small non-stick saute pan over medium heat, cook corn and peppers until slightly browned. Meanwhile, in a medium-size mixing bowl, combine the salmon, egg, and 1/4 C. of the bread crumbs. Add the corn and peppers and mix together well. Use your clean hands - it is okay. While you are doing this, melt butter in large skillet. Spread the other 1/4 C. breadcrumbs on a small plate. Divide the salmon mixture into 4 equal parts. Form 4 patties. I usually squish it into a ball shape pack it together well so the patties don't fall apart too much, and then smush it down gently onto the breadcrumbs on the plate, flip it over and get crumbs on the other side while shaping it. Set patties into the pan (the butter should be melted and bubbling a little - don't let it get too brown or it may taste burnt). Cook patties until golden brown on both side. Serve atop the pesto pasta. I usually do 2 per person.
As soon as I start cooking the corn and peppers, I begin boiling the water for the pasta (we use bow ties aka farfalle for this recipe 99% of the time - I don't know why), and start making the pesto too. My secret pesto recipe? Knorr's pesto packages. Just add water and olive oil as per the package instructions. If you are a super-do-it-yourself person, use the fresh pesto you made this morning. Go for it. I don't care. Just like I don't care if you use jars of Ragu instead of making your own bolognese, and I don't care if your idea of "from scratch" brownies involves scratching open a box from Betty Crocker. Just telling you what I do. Trader Joe's sells pesto in a jar that I use to make my tomato soup from a can taste just a little more special. You can use that. Anyway... I cook the pesto and the pasta while my salmon cakes are cooking, mix the pesto and pasta together, serve it up on a plate and top with salmon cakes. If you are feeling fancy, drizzle a little of the pesto around the plate. OH! I almost forgot! The pine nuts. They are kind of expensive but we like the extra little crunch in the pesto. I keep a bag of them (from Trader Joe's, of course) in the freezer and toss them in at the end.
Et voila. Dinner served in about 15 minutes. Add to your grocery list: salmon pouches, breadcrumbs, eggs, frozen corn, peppers, bow tie pasta, and pesto. You will be prepared for an anytime, no planning dinner.
Getting hungry now. Time to start the pizza... Tonight we are trying an Aloha Chicken Pizza. New recipe, I will let you know what we think and share the recipe if it is a good one.
Until we eat again,