Experimentation of Taste

A food blog that catalogs discovery of foods available through CSA Farms Shares and other arenas and the recipes to enhance the flavors.


Does salmon really need that pretty sprig of parsley?

Maybe. Read on for the reason why…

I cooked salmon twice this week. One of my recipes needed cilantro – badly. It
wasn’t the same without it. Cooking fish twice was a bit much and reheated fish had no appeal. What to do? Fish sticks of course! Not those fish sticks. This month’s Everyday Food had a recipe for freezer friendly fish cakes. Using leftovers cut the prep time in half and made this an enjoyable remake.

I was mistaken when I thought this meal might need something more. My husband made a wrap with fish cakes and tartar sauce and agrees that the tortillas were superfluous. I’m sure there’s a great side dish to compliment this meal, and since a friend from church just gave me a fresh-caught salmon, I’ll get a chance to think of what it is.

Parsley normally just decorates the side of your plate or freshens your breath after the meal. The revival of cooking with fresh herbs hasn’t aroused the public consciousness about parsley’s long and storied history. This recipe incorporates this humble herb into the mixture, but the flavor is still just hinted at. I would love to have a bit of the flavor enhanced more. You can bet I’ll experiment some more and report the results.

Ruth at Once Upon a Feast is hosting Weekend Herb Blogging this week. She just survived the Jewish holidays and is headed toward Canadian Thanksgiving. Hopefully this event doesn’t put too much on her plate.

Storage: In the pot in the yard of course! If you have to buy yours from the green grocer, it’s ok. Wrap it in a dry paper towel and place it in Ziploc bag. Chopped leaves freeze well and whole leaves can be dried. Frozen herbs retain a better flavor over dried.

Uses: bouquet garni, salads, garnish, fried (to retain the parsley essence), sauces, chimichurri, pesto (replaces basil), compound butter, risotto, soups, egg and cheese dishes, salad dressing, tabouli, and meat and fish dishes. Flat parsley is more flavorful than curly parsley. Two European sauces use this as the main ingredient: Persillade and gremolata. Our lovely hostess blogged about gremolata back in January. Shelley from S’kat and the food gave us a clear entry on chimichurri back in May. If you are interested in parsley pesto, it had a lovely entry for WHB back in August at Salt and Pepper.

Flavor Enhancers: None came up in my research and I just let my plant grow. Offer me up some ideas down in the comment section.

Health Notes: Eating parsley after alcohol or garlic freshens the breath; it also aids digestion. It contains vitamin A, B, and C and iron. Parsley increases appetite and allows your body to absorb more nutrients from food. It encourages nursing mothers to produce more milk.

Safety Notes: Avoid using medicinally if pregnant or have kidney disease, but continue to cook with it. Do not self-dose this herb medicinally. Always use the guidelines of a professional. On a non-human note, don’t feed this to your pet bird or you may have a dead bird on your hands.

Lemon-Horseradish Fish Cakes
Everyday Food October 2006

Serves: 8 (I divided my version in half because I only had a lb of fish)
Prep time: 20 min
Total time: 45 min

  • 3 T olive oil

  • 2 lbs of fish (tilapia was called for, I used salmon)

  • salt and pepper

  • 2 large eggs

  • ½ c light mayo

  • ½ c chopped fresh parsley, plus sprigs for garnish

  • ¼ c fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)

  • 3 T bottled white horseradish

  • 1 ½ c coarse saltine cracker crumbs (I used matzo meal because I did not want to smash the last of my crackers)

  • tartar sauce, for serving (optional) recipe below

  1. Cook the fish in a 400F oven with ½ T of olive oil, salt, and pepper for 10-15 minutes. Cool completely. Flake the fish with a fork into small pieces. (I skipped this step since I had flaked fish in the freezer.)

  2. In a large bowl, combine eggs through horseradish with ½ c of coarse crumbs. Season with salt and pepper (use more if you are not using Saltines). Place remaining crumbs on a plate to dredge the fish cakes through. Form 16 cakes using ¼ c of mixture for each one. Gently dredge in crumbs and press into cakes to help adhere.

  3. At this point you can freeze these on a baking sheet til firm, then wrap individually and placed in a bag labeled with info. Use before 3 months is up. Defrost in the fridge before using.

  4. For the cooking part, Heat a skillet to medium high with oil. Place 8 cakes in skillet; cook until golden brown, 4-6 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining cakes. Serve with tartar sauce.

Tartar Sauce (our own mixture)

  • ½ c Mayo

  • 1 Dill Pickle, chopped

  • 1 t Dijon mustard

  • 1 t capers

  • a dash of lemon juice

mix together and serve.


Blogger Ruth said...

Those fish cakes do sound yummy. I know what you mean about parsley - they really don't pack a punch like cilantro or basil or mint. I usually combine it with one or the other.

look for the WHB roundup on Monday and have a great weekend.

10/05/2006 3:06 PM  
Blogger sher said...

Yum!!! I love fish cakes--collect recipes for them. This sounds great! I love horseradish. Thank you.

10/09/2006 5:56 PM  
Blogger Kalyn said...

Sounds very tasty. I agree with Sher about the horseradish. Your version of tartar sauce sounds very similar to how I make it too.

10/09/2006 7:05 PM  

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