Salmon Croquettes are itching for a come back.
One of our favorite recipes in the new Jack Daniel’s Cookbook: Stories and Kitchen Secrets from Miss Mary Bobo’s Boarding House (Thomas Nelson 2012) that we often make at home is old-fashioned Southern Salmon Croquettes with Creole Mustard Sauce. Back in the day, canned was the only form of salmon anyone in land-locked Tennessee had ever tasted. Despite now being elbowed out by fresh fish and crab cakes, canned salmon is still a nutritious, economical, convenient, and delicious pantry staple. It’s definitely worth rediscovering. Lynne Tolley, proprietress of Miss Mary’s, tells us that whenever they serves salmon croquettes, table conversations invariably turn nostalgic with folks wondering why they still don’t make these at home like they used to.
Storing canned salmon in the pantry is most of the work, that and crushing a few fresh crackers. Unlike most pan-fried foods, you don’t have to enjoy the croquettes right out of the pan. They’ll keep crisp and hot in the oven until serving time, perfect for make-ahead entertaining. Dressed-up with lemon wedges, Creole Mustard Sauce dotted with peas and beautifully presented on your best china platter, they rival crab cakes any day. Use one can of salmon and cut the recipe in half for about six croquettes, but you’ll miss the leftovers.
- 2 cans (14.75 ounces each) salmon, drained
- 1/2 cup grated onion
- 1 cup finely chopped celery
- Juice of half a lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 ½ cups cracker crumbs plus another 1 ½ cups for breading the croquettes (about 2 sleeves of saltines)
- 5 tablespoons butter
- 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons Creole mustard or other coarse-grained mustard to taste
- 1 cup frozen green peas
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Place salmon in a large bowl, removing skin and large bones. Flake with a fork.
- Stir in remaining ingredients. Blend well.
- Shape into croquettes using 1/3 cup of the mixture for each. Gently coat with remaining cracker crumbs and let rest on a cookie sheet.
- Heat ½ inch of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Fry a few croquettes at a time (don’t crowd the pan) until golden brown and crisp, about 3 to 4 minutes per side.
- Keep cooked croquettes in a warm oven while frying the rest.
- Serve with Creole Mustard Sauce.
- Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour and cook until smooth and bubbly, about 1 minute.
- Gradually stir in broth and milk. Bring to a boil and simmer until thickened.
- Stir in mustard and peas. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until peas are heated through.
- Makes about 3 cups sauce.