Simpler and faster than crab cakes, these burgers are a weeknight regular at my house. You can serve them on buns or plate them with a ramekin of Herbed Sherry Mayo and a mound of crisp, crunchy greens.
This mayo has been a must-have with fish on my family’s table since the 1950s. It's also great with Asian Salmon Loaf, and with steamed artichokes and asparagus.
Cat Cora's Classics with a Twist by Cat Cora and Ann Krueger Spivack; photography by Luca Trovato. Copyright 2010; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
|2 cups mayonnaise (Hellmann's or Best Foods), for the Herbed Sherry Mayo||1 scallion, finely chopped|
|3 tablespoons tarragon vinegar, white wine vinegar, or rice vinegar, for the Herbed Sherry Mayo||1 finely chopped fresh basil|
|3 tablespoons dry sherry, for the Herbed Sherry Mayo||1 teaspoon kosher salt|
|2 teaspoons sugar, for the Herbed Sherry Mayo||Freshly ground black pepper|
|2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh herbs (equal parts chives, parsley, tarragon, and basil, or whatever you have), for the Herbed Sherry Mayo||1 all-purpose flour, for dusting|
|12 ounce salmon fillet||1/2 cup olive oil, plus more if needed|
|1 red onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)||4 hamburger buns, split and toasted|
|1 1/2 cups plain dried bread crumbs||4 lettuce leaves|
|1 large egg||4 tomato slices|
|1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce||4 thin slices red onion|
For the mayo: Whisk together all the ingredients for Herbed Sherry Mayo in a large bowl. (The mayo will keep in your fridge for up to 1 week, tightly covered.)
For the burgers: Cut the salmon fillet into 3 or 4 pieces and pulse in a food processor about 10 times, until coarsely ground. Don't overmix; you don't want the fish to turn into paste. Add the onion, bread crumbs, egg, and Tabasco and pulse a few times to mix. Transfer to a large bowl. Mix in the scallion, basil, salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
Shape the mixture into 4 patties, sprinkling on a few drops of water if the mixture is too dry to hold together. Pour the flour onto a plate and add a few grinds of black pepper. Lightly coat the salmon patties with flour on each side and set them on a plate.
Pour the oil into a large skillet (it should be 1/4-inch deep) and heat over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers but is not yet smoking. Gently place the salmon patties in the hot oil and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes on each side. Line a plate with paper towels. When the burgers are done, transfer them to the paper-lined plate.
To assemble the burgers: Place each salmon burger on the bottom of a bun, spoon on the mayo, and top with the lettuce, tomato, and onion. Cover with the top half of the roll and serve.
Cat's Note: To make this an appetizer, shape the salmon mixture into 15 small cakes, 1 1/2 inches across, and cook the mini salmon cakes for about 1 1/2 minutes on each side. Serve with a dab of mayo or spoon the mayo into ramekins for dipping.
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