Pan Fried Salmon Cakes with Lemon Caper Orzo & Mustard Cream Sauce

I love sweet and savory cakes of every kind–it doesn’t matter if they’re made of chocolate, or cream, or crab or salmon… {although I doubt i’d love a combination of those!} I know on occasion I can be a little weird, and I make some pretty darn “weird” things, but i’m not THAT crazy! This week I am making my all time favorite carrot cake recipe for EASTERS! And I also thought I would make some delicious salmon cakes too. I know as a “food blogger” I should be able to come up with some cool story or reason why, but I have nothing. I just made them because I wanted to eat them ok? And I didn’t want to serve them with some boring, I mean, “plain” yoghurt sauce either. So I decided to make something just a little less weird than a chocolate crab cake, and something a little more adventurous than a remoulade, and somewhere in-between, I came up with this delicious recipe. I used Ina Gartens crab cake recipe as a starting point, but added canned salmon to save a step of having to cook it, and they were SO delicious! Crisp, and pretty, and full of flavor! The lemon caper orzo with parmesan was the perfect thing to serve them with, and I decided to make a sauce, just because everything is better with a delicious sauce… especially when it involves grainy dijon! The French’s secret to cooking is butter, but mine is grainy dijon! Everything just tastes better with it, and my husband teases me relentlessly for being so obsessed. Anyway, this is pretty much another “sarah” dish, full of things I love on one plate! But as usual I hope you guys love it too! 

Ingredients {for the salmon cakes: makes 6 large} recipe adapted from Ina Garten
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp butter
2 14.5oz cans wild alaskan salmon

1/2 red onion, diced
2 stalks celery, finely diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons old bay seasoning
kosher salt and pepper
1 cup italian breadcrumbs
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons grainy dijon mustard
2 extra-large eggs

{for the lemon orzo}
2 Tbsp butter
1 cup uncooked orzo
1 cup parmesan cheese
1 14.5oz can chicken broth/stock
salt & pepper
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 small jar capers {8 oz} drained

{for the mustard cream sauce}
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp garlic
1/4 cup water
1 tsp chicken stock
4 Tbsp grainy dijon
1 heaping Tbsp brown sugar
1 cup heavy whipping cream
freshly ground black pepper

Directions: Melt 1 Tbsp butter in 1 Tbsp olive oil in a pan over medium high heat. Add the onion, celery, garlic and red bell pepper and sauté until softened {4-5 minutes}. Meanwhile, combine the salmon, parsley, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, old bay seasoning, kosher salt and pepper, breadcrumbs, mayonnaise, grainy dijon and eggs in a large bowl, and stir to combine. Add the celery, garlic, bell pepper and onion mixture to the bowl, and stir to incorporate. Divide the mixture into six equally sized balls, and flatten with your hands to form “patties” or cakes. Place on a baking tray, and set aside in the freezer to cool while you make the orzo and mustard sauce.

For the orzo:
Melt 2 Tbsp butter in a pan over medium heat. Stir in 1 cup dry orzo, and sauté until lightly browned.
Stir in the chicken stock and bring to the boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes until all the liquid has been absorbed. Stir the parmesan into the cooked orzo, add 2 tsp fresh lemon juice and the capers, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

For the mustard sauce: heat 1 tsp olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, 2-3 minutes. Add the chicken stock, grainy dijon, brown sugar, whipping cream and black pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until sauce has thickened and is warmed through {4-5 minutes}.

Heat the remaining 1 Tbsp butter in 1 Tbsp olive oil, add the salmon cakes, and cook 4-5 minutes per side until browned and crisp and heated through.

Plate the salmon cakes on top of the orzo, and pour some creamy mustard sauce on top. Serve with fresh lemon.

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<3 Sarah