Salmon Cakes with Crunchy Corn Relish

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Adapted from The Foster’s Market Cookbook
Makes about twelve 2 1/2-inch cakes

2 lbs cooked salmon (poached or grilled), cooled to room temp
1 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh basil
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 large eggs
1/2 red onion, minced
3 scallions, trimmed and minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 tsp chopped fresh dill
2 tsp hot sauce (such as Tabasco or Texas Pete)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup canola, safflower or peanut oil
1 recipe Crunchy Corn Relish (recipe follows)

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.  In a large bowl, use a fork to break the cooked salmon into large chunks.  Add 1/2 cup of the bread crumbs, mayonnaise, basil, mustard, eggs, onion, scallions, jalapeno, dill, hot sauce, salt and pepper.  Stir until just mixed.  Be careful not to overmix – the salmon should still be in bite-sized chunks, not small flakes.

Using your hands, form the mixture into twelve 2 1/2-inch or 3-inch cakes.  Each cake should be about 1 1/2 inches thick.  Coat both sides of the cake in the remaining bread crumbs and set aside.

Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet.  When oil is hot (test the oil’s heat by placing the tip of a wooden spoon into the oil – if small bubbles form around the spoon, the oil is hot enough) then place 5 or 6 of the cakes in the skillet.  Let cook for about 3 minutes per side before flipping over.  Each side should be golden brown.  Remove the cake from the skillet and place on a paper towel to drain.  Transfer the cakes to a baking dish and place in the oven to stay warm while you finish the rest of the cakes.

Top with crunchy corn relish and serve.

Crunchy Corn Relish
makes 3 cups corn relish

Kernels from 4 ears fresh corn (2 cups)
1/2 red onion, diced
1/4 cup dry white wine
3 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp peeled, julienned fresh ginger
3 tbsp fresh thyme or 1 tbsp dried thyme
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp peppercorns (pink if you can find them)
2 tsp whole coriander seeds
1 tsp sugar
2 bay leaves
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
7 scallions, trimmed and cut into thinly sliced rounds
6 fresh basil leaves, cut into thin strips (chiffonade)
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place corn, onion, wine, vinegar, ginger, thyme, garlic, peppercorns, coriander, sugar, and bay leaves in a medium saucepan over low heat.  Stir and cook about 10 minutes, until seasonings are incorporated.  Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the green bell pepper, red bell pepper, scallions, and basil.  Stir to mix.

Add the corn mixture to the pepper mixture and stir.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Either spoon over salmon cakes or refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to use.  Discard bay leaves before serving.

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