Friday, November 19, 2010

Salmon Cakes with Roasted Red Pepper Aioli

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Dear Ina Garten,

I love you.

Every Ina Garten recipe I have ever made has turned out delicious.  Her choice of ingredients and equisite taste makes her recipes just simply divine.  I've had a bag of frozen salmon filets in my freezer for a month or so and was trying to figure out what to do with them.  My good friend, Mama with Flavor (who is an amazing cook btw) suggested I make salmon cakes.  It sounded interesting and I've always wanted to make crab cakes, but just never had the confidence to do so.

Since I've been cooking seriously for over a year now, I thought I could handle this challenge.

And I am so glad I did.  These were delicious!

My changes to the recipe were as follows: I used 1lb versus 1/2 lb salmon. I sauteed half a white onion instead of a red onion (didn't have a red onion on hand).  I only had a red pepper (no yellow) and I used store bought bread crumbs and panko crumbs instead of homemade bread crumbs. I didn't use capers because I'm not a fan of them. I also used dried parsely instead of fresh because I didn't have fresh on hand. When it came time to mixing all the ingredients together I mixed in 1/2 cup of green onions.   Even despite all these modifications they were amazing!

The red pepper aioli comes courtesy of Giada de Laurentis and I followed that recipe exactly.  The aioli was sooo wonderful and was a great compliment to the salmon cakes.  I'd use it again for many things, included garlic toast as Giada suggests.

This is a wonderful appetizer and can be made ahead of time and frozen.  If you want to freeze these, do everything except fry in the pan.  Form into balls and slightly flatten and then place them in a freezer bag.  Use within one month.

Ina Garten's original recipe:


  • 1/2 pound fresh salmon

  • Good olive oil

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 3/4 cup small-diced red onion (1 small onion)

  • 1 1/2 cups small-diced celery (4 stalks)

  • 1/2 cup small-diced red bell pepper (1 small pepper)

  • 1/2 cup small-diced yellow bell pepper (1 small pepper)

  • 1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained

  • 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce (recommended: Tabasco)

  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons crab boil seasoning (recommended: Old Bay)

  • 3 slices stale bread, crusts removed

  • 1/2 cup good mayonnaise

  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

  • 2 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the salmon on a sheet pan, skin side down. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until just cooked. Remove from the oven and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Allow to rest for 10 minutes and refrigerate until cold.

Meanwhile, place 2 tablespoons of the butter, 2 tablespoons olive oil, the onion, celery, red and yellow bell peppers, parsley, capers, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, crab boil seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a large saute pan over medium-low heat and cook until the vegetables are soft, approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

Break the bread slices in pieces and process the bread in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. You should have about 1 cup of bread crumbs. Place the bread crumbs on a sheet pan and toast in the oven for 5 minutes until lightly browned, tossing occasionally.

Flake the chilled salmon into a large bowl. Add the bread crumbs, mayonnaise, mustard, and eggs. Add the vegetable mixture and mix well. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Shape into 10 (2 1/2 to 3-ounce) cakes.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. In batches, add the salmon cakes and fry for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, until browned. Drain on paper towels; keep them warm in a preheated 250 degree F oven and serve hot.


  • 2 garlic cloves

  • 1/2 cup roasted red bell peppers, drained, patted dry

  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

To make the aioli: Finely chop the garlic in the food processor. Add the peppers and blend until almost smooth. Blend in the mayonnaise. With the machine running, blend in the oil. Season the aioli, to taste, with salt and pepper. Transfer the aioli to a small bowl. (The aioli can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)





  1. Yum yum!!!! I haven't tried an Ina Garten recipe that was not ....well in her words...AMAZING! Glad these were great!! Beautiful photo! I want some of this, too!

  2. great post, thanks for sharing

  3. Nice recipe and photos. Looks delicious.

  4. Thank you Quay! I was very plesantly surprised at how yummy they turned out :)