My mother was a very good cook, but the canned salmon patties she attempted to transform into something palatable were only marginally more appetizing than sautéed calf’s liver.
I’m sure there aren’t many of you who have been forced to experience the unique flavors of canned salmon. But if you grew up a few decades ago when there was little or no access to fresh seafood, your mom – like mine- would have added some type of canned fish product to the weekly family dinner menu.
That’s because doctors back then told parents that kids needed the vitamins, minerals and nutrients provided by seafood. So moms living in West Virginia, Iowa or other land locked places had little choice except to buy canned seafood products. The other option was to force-feed their kids daily spoonfuls of cod liver oil- a childhood experience only slightly less traumatic than an enema.
And while canned seafood products like salmon, tuna, and sardines are still available, we now have regular access to fresh seafood. So today, in honor of all those moms’ determined, but futile attempts, to create something edible from canned seafood, I am going to share a spicy salmon burger and chili lime aioli recipe with you. I think you’ll find that it is delicious, and made even more so with the wines I’m recommending.
While I prefer to grill the burgers, they can also be pan sautéed or baked for a short time in the oven. But the first step is to find fresh seafood from a shop or grocery store that has regular deliveries of this very fragile product. My go-to seafood monger here in the capitol city is Joe’s Fish Market on the corner of Brooks and Quarrier Streets (304-342-7827).
For the perfect roll to envelope this Spicy Salmon Burger, you might find suitable products at the grocery store, but I suggest calling ahead and ordering the delicious and fresh Brioche Buns from Charleston Bread at 601 Capitol St. (304-720-3022).
One of the attributes of the Spicy Salmon Burger is that the flavor components pair equally well with both white and red wine. You might try one or both of these wines.
2015 Chateau De Fontenille ($11)- From Bordeaux, this steely, yet rich white is a complex blend of sauvignon blanc, semillon, sauvignon gris and muscadelle. It marries nicely with the herbal nuances of the burger, and provides a refreshing counter to the spiciness of the dish.
2013 Chehalem Three Points Pinot Noir ($35) – From the Willamette Valley of Oregon, this wine has a mouthful of black cherries, spice and tea flavors. Rich, yet still perfectly balanced with a nice acid zing, it is very copacetic with the Spicy Salmon Burger.
Spicy Salmon Burger with Chili Lime Aioli
One pound skinless salmon filet
Two tablespoons of chopped fresh cilantro
Two tablespoon of fresh lime juice
One-half jalapeno diced
Three teaspoons of diced onions
One teaspoon each of kosher salt, diced garlic, black pepper, cumin and chili powder
Two tablespoons of Panko or bread crumbs
One tablespoon of chopped chipotle in adobo sauce (optional)
Chili Lime Aioli
One-third cup mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
One tablespoon lime juice
One-half teaspoon of minced fresh garlic, smoked paprika, salt and black pepper
One-half teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper (optional) and chili powder
Combine all ingredients for the Aioli in a bowl, mix and refrigerate
Cut salmon into half-inch squares
Pulse in a food processor until salmon has the consistency of hamburger
Place salmon in a bowl and add the remaining ingredients
Mix ingredients and form into salmon burgers
Grill on a medium hot grill three minutes a side until firm
Place in a bun and add the chili lime aioli
Pour yourself a glass of wine and enjoy!