Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Spicy Salmon Cakes

I was enjoying a glass of wine and a cheese platter the other night while reading The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. The book discusses habits in general, what drives them and how they can be overridden. The irony of the situation is that the cheese and wine I was enjoying does not constitute a good habit. I don't process either particularly well and feel less than stellar afterwards. Last night's meal choice is one of the habits I need to override.

If you get a chance, have a read of The Power of Habit. Information is relayed using narratives, so the book is captivating as well as informative. There is a section in the book that discusses habits' impact in the world of marketing, which blew my socks off. Who knows, you might just change a bad habit or two while reading it!

Enter a slightly better choice in the form of healthier food: salmon cakes. These are coated in panko crumbs, but I think they balance a food lover's wants and needs nicely. I also opted to put them under the broiler as opposed to pan frying them because my attempt at frying the first few got poor results. Another deviation involved swapping out lime pickle for mango pickle. It's what I could find and I don't think it caused any harm. Finally, I would recommend blending the ingredients together instead simply combining them, as it offers a smoother consistency with every bite.

Adapted from:

Serves 4


  • 1 russet potato, peeled and chopped 
  • 1 can of salmon in water
  • 2 eggs slightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup red onion
  • 2 T finely chopped mango pickle
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 T vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup of plain yoghurt
  • 2 T chopped cilantro


Turn the oven on to broil (high).

Boil the potato pieces in a small pot of water for approximately 10 minutes. Drain and either add the eggs, onion and pickle to the food processor to mix or mash the potatoes with a fork in a bowl first and then combine the rest of the ingredients just listed. I took the noticeable bones out of the salmon before combining it with the potatoes, but that's not necessary (I have an aversion to bones). Season with salt and pepper. Form into 6 patties. Pour panko into a deep dish. Coat patties with panko.

Place the patties on a tin foil lined baking sheet and bake for approximately 10 minutes on one side and 5 on the other.

Combine the yoghurt and cilantro in a bowl and serve with the salmon cakes.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Cioppini (Seafood Soup)

This is one of those delectable meals that must include soaking your crusty French bread in the seafood and wine-rich broth before eating it. I ended up buying smoked oysters too while looking for the right seafood to add to this soup. I chose instead to eat them as a starter with wedges of Cambezola and crackers. Soooo rich! 

If you are a seafood lover, this simple combination of flavours is a classic and adored by many. I chose the recipe because it filled my need for mussels, soup and a very brief set of instructions for its preparation. 

Adapted from:

Serves 8


  • 3 T salted butter
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1, 28 oz tin chopped stewed tomatoes
  • 4 cups water
  • 3 T chicken bouillon powder
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 T dried basil
  • 1/2 t thyme
  • 1/2 t oregano
  • 1 cup clam juice
  • 1 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 1/2 lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 1/2 lbs cod fillets, cubed
  • 18 mussels cleaned and debearded
  • 1 1/2 crab meat

*Clams, scallops and other seafood can be added or swapped for what I included above.


Melt the butter in a large saucepan and add the onions and garlic, coating them well and letting them cook on medium heat until transparent. Add all the remaining ingredients to the saucepan except the seafood. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes.

Increase the heat and add the seafood, bringing the soup to a boil, before reducing it again and simmering for 5-7 minutes.

Serve with a crusty loaf of French bread and a green salad of your choosing.