Is food nostalgia a thing? If not, I’m making it canon right here, right now. Everything going on has made it a bit less convenient (and fun) to cook at home, but don’t give up! Here, I’m taking on Middle Eastern style meatballs– but instead of beef and lamb, I’m using salmon. Then for bonus points, I’m going to show you how to make your own fries at home.
This one was a unique creative challenge. On a normal day, I might be able to get someone at the fish market to grind salmon for me (I know what you’re thinking…but it’s really not as weird as you think!) If you’re lucky, it’ll already be packaged and ready to make “salmon burgers”. Large markets are still not a great idea though, and I also don’t have a way to safely grind it at home. You could say I got desperate, but I’d say it was genius: I went for some wild caught, canned salmon! I don’t use it often, but I figured if canned crab meat can be delicious and sustainable, then maybe I shouldn’t turn my nose up. This is a good way to use the canned foods you might have staring at you in your kitchen right now.
If you made the chorizo meatballs, you already have this week mastered! The salmon will be pre-cooked though, so season it generously, add a little extra oil, and mix it up with panko, garlic, and herbs. You don’t want to dry these out, so a few minutes at a high temperature (around 430) should do enough to keep them solid.
Turn your leftover parsley, onions and peppers into a quick tabouleh salad– but if you’re like me, you’ll probably sub out the traditional bulgur wheat for couscous…
Either way, it’ll add a lot of necessary acidity, and when combined with any of your other sauces (Tzatziki, hummus, etc) it forms the perfect combination. Need some more ideas? Check out this chicken shawarma from way back.
Finally, let’s get to the real reason you’re here: you want to make your own fries. Cut the potato into sticks length-wise, and do you’re best to keep the thickness uniform. You’d be surprised how many you can get out of a single potato…
It actually pays to do what the fast food restaurants do. Blanche the potatoes in boiling water, then cool them rapidly in ice water. Even if you’re just going to freeze them for later, don’t skip this step. It solves two problems: they won’t fall apart once you defrost them. and they cook up faster. You can bake, or fry these at a high temperature, and they are perfect, though the baked fries will be softer.
2 Cans Sockeye Salmon
1 Onion, minced
1/2 Cup Green Onion, minced
2 Sweet Potatoes
3 Tbs Garlic, minced
1 Bell Pepper, minced
3 Cups Parsley, chopped
1 Cup Tomato, minced
1 Lime, juiced and zested
1 Cup Panko
2 Loaves of Pita
1 Cup Yoghurt
1 Cup Couscous, steamed
1 Tbs Pomegranate Molasses
2 Tbs Cumin
1 Tbs Paprika
1 Tbs Onion Powder
1 Tbs Dried Mint
1 Tbs Cinnamon
1 Tsp Sumac
4 Tbs Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper to taste
- Combine the salmon, panko, lime zest, green onion, half of the garlic, and half of the spices. Drizzle olive oil as needed, and form your preferred shaped köfte. Bake at 430 degrees for ten minutes. Remove from the oven, then keep warm.
- Combine diced tomato, onion, garlic, parsley, pomegranate molasses, and couscous. Stir in olive oil, then season with salt, pepper, dried mint, and sumac. Taste for seasoning. Cover, and chill until ready to serve.
- Slice the sweet potato into sticks, then add to boiling water for thirty seconds, then drain and cool rapidly in ice water. Pat dry, then choose your own adventure: bake or fry.
- Combine yoghurt, remaining olive oil, dried mint and sumac, and stir well. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
- Combine köfte, salad, and yoghurt sauce in the sliced pita. Plate, and serve with fries.