June 24, 2008

mmm, canada

i got an email from jasmine of confessions of a cardamom addict to participate in a food blogging event. this was the first event i had been invited to and was very excited to participate. we could participate in both, or only one part of the event. i decided to do both.
ì`ve lived in bc for over 12 years now and the one thing that i`ve grown to love out here is salmon. wild sockeye salmon is by far my favourite, but any salmon will do. i try not to buy farmed salmon, but it`s not always possible. one day i was watching kitchen nightmares (original british version) and he was making crab cakes. they looked beautiful. i`m sure they tasted great, but i`m not a huge fan of crab. and then the light bulb went on... salmon!salmon cakes

1 pound fresh salmon 1/2 bunch of cilantro (or flat leaf parsley if you're not a fan of cilantro), finely chopped 1 red onion, diced 2-4 cloves of garlic, minced (or to taste) juice of 1 lemon 1 large egg, lightly beaten 1/2 cup bread crumbs 1 tsp salt salt and pepper to taste and a drizzle of olive oil.
preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. place the salmon in an oven safe dish and season the fish with salt and pepper to taste, drizzle with 1 tbsp of the fresh lemon juice and the olive oil. cover with tin foil and bake for 15 minutes. turn the oven off and let the fish rest in the warm oven for 5 minutes. take the salmon out of the oven and once the fish has cooled a bit more, "flake" the fish with a fork. mix the remaining ingredients into the salmon and form "cakes" with your hands or a large cookie/ice cream scoop. cover and refrigerate until you're ready to cook them. i use my griddler, but you can cook them up in a frying pan, too. serve on a bed of lettuce or in a bun like a burger!and of course you'll need a nice canadian wine. i picked up a bottle of rigamarole strictly for the uber cute label. i'm a sucker for stuff like that. turns out it's a very nice wine. i'm not a wine geek and normally i can't smell the "oaky-ness" or "the sun must have been shining whilst the birds flew overhead," you can smell it's fruity. it's label says: "why is it such a rigamarole to simply find a great dry white? the puzzling complexity of terroir, oak ageing, vintages and those ridiculous descriptors is just too much. save that mental energy for calculating the time it would take to harvest our grapes with hedgehogs..." love it! and bonus, it's from bc's beautiful okanagan valley.

the other half of the blogging event was held by jennifer of the domestic goddess and was right up my alley... a sugar high! one of the best memories of my childhood was going to a sugar maple farm up in kleinberg (ontario) when there was tonnes of snow on the ground. i remember the worker pour the hot syrup on the snow in a line and rolling it back onto a popsickle stick. to this day, i think that was the best maple syrup i have ever had. to me, nothing tastes like a sweet canada than maple syrup. MAPLE COOKIES
2 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened 3/8 cup packed light brown sugar 1/4 cup maple syrup (the real thing!) 1 egg 1 teaspoon cream of tartar 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 3/8 teaspoon salt
Into medium bowl, sift flour, baking soda, salt and cream of tartar together; set aside. in the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, cream sugar and butter until light and fluffy. add egg and maple syrup. add remaining dry ingredients until just combined. Shape dough into ball; wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate dough 1 hour or until easy to handle. Preheat oven to 350*F. On lightly floured surface, with lightly floured rolling pin, roll 1/3 of the dough at a time 1/8 inch thick, keeping remaining dough refrigerated. With floured 3 1/2 inch maple leaf shaped cookie cutter, cut dough into leaves. Place cookies 1 inch apart on greased cookie sheet (or use parchment lined sheets.) Bake 10 minutes or until golden. With pancake turner, carefully remove to wire racks to cool. Repeat until all dough is used, greasing cookie sheet each time.
2 cups (4 ounces) confectioners’ sugar1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) butter, softened pinch salt (extra fine if you have it)1/2 teaspoon maple extract1 teaspoon vanilla extract1 to 2 tablespoons maple syrup
Beat the confectioners’ sugar, butter, and salt together. Mix in the maple flavoring and vanilla. Add the maple syrup a bit at a time, until the filling is a medium-soft, spreadable consistency (the filling should hold its shape). Drop a teaspoonful of filling onto the flat side of a cookie. Top with another cookie, placing the flat sides toward each other. Let the cookies sit for several hours to let the frosting set up, so the cookie halves don’t slide around on one another. Store in airtight containers for several days or freeze for longer storage.


jasmine said...

Wow you've outdone yourself with this one. Adorable label--I choose wines that way too :)

Thanks for participating.

Domestic Goddess said...

These cookies look delicious. I have the very same memories of going to the Sugar Bush :)

Thanks so much for joining in on Mmm...Canada!

giz said...

Love the salmon cakes - Happy Canada Day!!!

Anonymous said...

The salmon cakes look delicious but the cookies blew me away! I remember going to see how maple syrup was made as a kid and I too remember eating it off the snow. One of my fondest memories from childhood! Great job!

Ruth Daniels said...

Great read. Thanks for sharing and thanks for making a much more sublime version of the salmon patties I grew up with.

The cookies look awesome too!

Reyna said...

Oh, yummy! I was thinking of making exactly these cookies! Such memories... they look lovely, I;m definitely making them now.

Yum, salmon patties... I actually had some yesterday :). Great entry, this one really rings with me.

Liliana said...

Love the salmon cakes and maple cookies. Two extra recipes to add to my collection!

Christine said...

I have never been a big fan of salmon - but those cakes may just tempt me. Happy Canada Day!

Unknown said...

Those salmon cakes look delicious! And the maple cookies are picture perfect.

The Apron Queen said...

They both look wonderfully delicious. Love the underpants! :D

Stop by Confessions of an Apron Queen for a piece of Maple Walnut Fudge: http://anapronaday.blogspot.com/2008/06/maple-walnut-fudge-old-fashioned-way.html

Anonymous said...

Ok, I am so in LOVE with these maple cookies I can't even articulate it enough!! These look too delicious and adorable :)

NKP said...

Mmm... the salmon cakes look delish. I loved bc when I was there, so beautiful.

Fitness Foodie said...

Great post, those salmon cakes look tasty and the maple cookies are sooo cute. Hope you had a happy canada day!