Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Burgers often get a bad name. No matter the origin - hipster burger joints in NYC passing themselves off as gourmet, family-run diners, or various nameless franchises - they are either enormous and dry, or sloppily served in a squashed soggy bun smelling of grease and something sour. Sure, you feel full afterwards, but like a hastily arranged paramouristic encounter with a faceless stranger in a dark and empty parking lot, one emerges feeling dirty and weighed down with inevitable regret.
Enter the salmon burger:
It is leaner, lighter, and healthier as it contains essential nutrients (omega-3 and vitamin D). In this recipe we use an egg white to bind it together and no bread or starch. With lemon juice, scallion, and a hint of garlic, it is both delicious and deliciously simple to make.
We often prefer slider-sized burgers as they seem somehow more manageable (the long lens makes them look deceivingly larger in the photographs). Or maybe I just never got past the child-like trait of preferring smaller things because they are more fun. Or maybe it's to compensate for the fact that burgers used to be much smaller than they are today. In any event, in this recipe we used whole wheat potato rolls to go with the salmon patties which were topped with an avocado spread, jalapeño slices, campari tomatoes, and onion. (We use shallot slices, since they are more appropriately sized for sliders, and their gentle flavor complements the salmon.)
Salmon Burgers with Avocado Spread
(Makes 4 burger patties or 8 slider patties)
You will need:
1 lb skinless salmon fillet
1 scallion, finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
white of 1 egg
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground white pepper
a pinch of cayenne pepper
2 tsp lemon juice, divided
2 tbsp canola oil for frying
1. Rinse the salmon and pat dry with paper towels. Slice into large pieces and place in a food processor: pulse until salmon is coarsely ground for a chunky consistency. Place in a bowl, add scallion, garlic, dill, egg white, salt, white and cayenne pepper, and 1 tsp lemon juice. Mix well to combine.
2. Heat canola oil in a large pan on medium heat. Form the salmon mixture into four flattened patties about 1/4 inch thick (or 8 smaller patties if making sliders) and place in the pan. Cook until done and the patties are a pinkish gold, about 2-3 minutes per side.
3. Make the avocado spread: mash the avocado with a fork in a small bowl, add the remaining 1 tsp lemon juice and mix well. To make the burgers, serve salmon patties on a whole wheat roll, topped with the avocado spread and your choice of toppings (such as baby arugula and thinly sliced tomato, jalapeño and onion).