Thursday, September 29, 2016

Salmon Croquettes

When I think of salmon croquettes, I find myself pronouncing the 'L' in 'saLmon' in my head, because that's how we all said it when we were kids.  We were backwards Texans and just didn't know no better.  Yes, these little fried delicacies were a staple in my household growing up, and I loved them them, so I thought I've revisit them now and see if I can recapture the magic of what my mom made way back then.

Thing is, I have no idea exactly how mom made them, so I've sort of re-engineered this recipe from the bottom up, and while they don't taste exactly like my memory of 'saLmon' croquettes from Mom's table, they do taste pretty good.


15 oz salmon
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 egg
1 oz green onion, minced
1 oz celery, minced
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
1 cup cooking oil

First off a word of warning.  Try to avoid using plain old canned salmon like this.

It's not only a bit dodgy as far as the salmon flavor is concerned, but it's chock full of pin and spine bones that you'll either have to pick out or serve to your guests, and nobody wants crunchy-style croquettes.

Instead, use the foil packets of salmon--these are boneless and seem to contain a higher quality of salmon.  

Heat oil in skillet to 375F

Mince green onions and celery

Place salmon in food processor with 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, 1 egg, green onions, celery, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and old bay.

Pulse until well combined.

Shape mixture into small patties.

Dust patties in rest of the breadcrumbs


Reserve until oil is heated

fry for a few minutes then carefully flip over and fry until both sides are crisp and golden brown

serve immediately

Until next time,


Monday, August 29, 2016

Savory Split Pea Soup

So, August has sort of become soup month here at An Eat'n Man, and lo and behold, the month rolled around and I hadn't cooked any new soups for the blog.  Well, I've been tied up with some other projects, but I looked through my archive, and I found I had this top notch Pea Soup from a few years ago that I cooked.  The recipe is great, inspired by Francois over at FX Cuisine, though I modified it heavily for my own use.  The photos aren't really up to my new standards, but I'll replace them when I get round to making this soup again (it's more of a winter soup, as it's so hearty) but until now I give you, split pea soup.


16 oz Green Split Peas
3 Large Carrots, diced
2 Russet Potatoes, diced
1 Large Onion, diced
1 Leek, slicked into thin rings
3 Cloves Garlic, minced
8 oz Smoked Ham, diced
1 bunch Parsley
1 bunch Thyme
1 bunch  Sage
1 Bay Leaf
1 Celeriac, diced
6 cups water
1 tablespoon olive oil

The hardest thing about making this soup is of course splitting all those darn peas--it takes forever.  Okay, just kidding.  The peas come already split--they naturally split when they are dried.  They are, of course, hard as a rock when you get them, so soak them overnight in water to soften them.  Discard that water when you drain them the next day and use fresh, clean water for the boil.

Dice onion and saute in olive oil until golden
Mince garlic and add, cook for one minute

Dice carrots, potatoes and celeriac

Add them to the pot with the onions and garlic.

Slice your leek into thin rings and add.  Only use the white and light green part of the leek, discard the leaves and rootlet ends.  Here's the part to use:

Slice 'em like this:

Dice ham and add

Note, most recipes for this soup would use a smoked ham hock or ham bone to add the flavor.  I don't for two reasons.  One...I've had bad luck with using hocks or ham bones that I've acquired at the store--they sometimes turn out to be rancid, and I've ruined some soups and bean dishes because of this.  By using actual slices of smoke ham, I get the same flavor, intensified, and a little more protein in the soup.  Trust me, its a great way to beef up your soup--or maybe ham it up would be more appropriate.

Add the water to the pot

Tie herbs with cooking twine

and add to the pot

Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer and cook for 1 hour

Remove herb bundle

Puree soup with hand blender

Serve right away:

Note, this makes a very thick soup--if you prefer it a little thinner, add a little vegetable broth after you have pureed it, and simmer for a few minutes more.

Until next time,

Don't split 'til you've had this soup.


Monday, July 18, 2016

Stir Fried Noodles with Pork


16 oz pork loin
1 cup bean sprouts
2 scallions
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon mirin
1 tablespoon red vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 tablespoon Chinkiang vinegar
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
8 ozs Hong Kong Style Egg Noodles
3 tablespoons peanut oil

This is a little dish we sometimes get at a Chinese BBQ place we like to go to from time to time.  At the restaurant, it is vegetarian, but I've meated it up a bit with the addition of marinated pork.  The most awesome part of the dish though is the noodles--these thin Hong Kong style noodles will really crisp up nicely in the hot wok, and that crispness is what makes the dish.

Make sure you get these noodles:

You should be able to find them at any decent Asian grocery.  They are Hong Kong style, whatever that means.  They are very thin, and that is the key to getting them to crisp up--you don't want the thicker lo mein or chow mein noodles.

Boil the noodles in two quarts water for 2-3 minutes.

These soften fast as they are so thin.

Next, heat a skillet with a little peanut oil.  Drain the noodles in a colander and get them as dry as you can.  Now place them in the skillet over medium heat and let them dry out a bit.

Flip them occasionally.  You can also do this in your wok, but I use a skillet as I'm just drying the noodles here and not crisping them yet.  Turn off heat when dry.

Meanwhile, cube your pork loin.

And mix up a marinade of 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon red vinegar, 1 tablespoon mirin.

Place the pork in the marinade and let sit in your fridge for 30 minutes.

Slice the scallions into thin, bite-size strips.

Mince your ginger,

then the garlic cloves, and mix them together.  Set aside.

Make your stir fry sauce:

Mix a tablespoon of soy sauce with a teaspoon dark soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil, 1/4 teaspoon sugar, 1/2 tablespoon Chinkiang vinegar and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper.  Reserve.

We'll be using my well-seasoned 14 inch carbon steel wok for this operation.

With it's flat bottom, it works well on the stove top.  Place wok on burner and get it scalding hot.  That's the key to good stir fry--a really hot wok.  It may smoke a bit, but just turn on your vent fan, as that heat gives your dish that amazing flavor known in stir fry circles as 'Wok Hei.'

Add a tablespoon of peanut oil to your hot wok and swirl it around.  Add the pork and stir fry until pork is browned but not overcooked.

Remove from wok and reserve.

Add another tablespoon of peanut oil to the wok.  Add the scallions and stir fry for 30 seconds.

Add the ginger/garlic mixture and repeat.

Now, add the noodles.

Stir things up a bit to get the ginger/garlic/scallions mixed in so they don't burn.  Then let the noodles sit for a minute or two.  Then flip over the whole mess of noodles. They should have begun to crisp up nicely on the bottom.  Add the stir fry sauce you made

and let sit another couple of minutes, then stir to break up the noodles a bit.

Add the pork back to the wok.

Add the bean sprouts.

Stir for a bit until the sprouts are mixed throughout.

then serve immediately.

Until next time,


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Smoked Salmon Mousse in Mold

Those of you that visit An Eat'n Man regular like may have noticed we favor a retro sort of theme here in a lot of the artwork featured on the blog.  Well, I'm also a fan of old school, retro food dishes, and like to feature some of those from time to time.

Well, nothing says retro like a molded, savory gelatin dish.

Such things were all the rage back in the 50s and 60s, and they sort of freak people out a little today.  For instance, check out these two period ads:

Yes, that's lime jello and tuna.  I know, weird.

Anyhoo, this salmon recipe I'm offering may look like it deserves to be condemned to history with these other molded dishes, but I have to tell you, it is surprisingly good.  I'd been telling the wife that I'd wanted to try a molded salmon mousse for a while, so last Christmas she got me a mold as one of my presents.

Doesn't everyone need a fish-shaped mold.  Of course they do.

Anyway, with mold in head I tried a salmon mousse recipe from one of my old retro cookbooks, enhancing it a bit by adding some smoked salmon, dill and capers, and it came out dyn-O-mite!  great salmon flavor.  I made it again recently for a party, and it was a hit.  This is one retro recipe that deserves a place her in the present.


2 tablespoons butter
1.5 packets unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons onion, minced
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons fresh dill
3 tablespoons capers
15 oz salmon
4 oz smoked salmon
1 cup heavy cream

Note, I've using some high quality salmon in this recipe, such as the stuff that comes in the foil packets, which is tasty, healthy and bone free.  If you're tempted to save a buck and use the canned stuff, like this,

Don't.  The canned stuff is much lower quality and is chock full of bones, which you'll either have to pick out or serve to your guests--neither a good option.  Finally you can use fresh salmon if you have it available, but be sure to pick out those pin bones.


Grease a 6-cup fish mold with butter.

Mince the onion:

Add regular and smoked salmon to a food processor:

And pulse this until the fish is well broken up into small granules.

Soften the gelatin in 1/4 cup cold water.

Add 1/2 cup boiling water and stir until the gelatin has dissolved.

Add the mayonnaise,

and the lemon juice, onion, hot sauce, Worcestershire, paprika, and salt and mix well.

Fold in the salmon and capers and dill.

Add the whipped cream

and continue folding until everything is well combined.


Pour the mixture into the prepared mold.

Smooth everything out:

Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 8 hours.

Delicately invert the mold and onto a platter, tapping it to release the mousse.  You can then garnish the platter with more dill or similar.  I also like to decorate the fish by using some lemon peel slices to make tail fins and a mouth, and use an olive slice for an eye.


You can also sprinkle a little more smoked paprika on the midsection for a tasty, decorative effect.

Until next time,