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50 Great Appetizers
by Pamela Sheldon Johns
These mini salmon cakes make a light and flavorful appetizer, or they can be served as a small lunch entrée alongside a green salad.
Serves 8



• 1 pound salmon fillet, skin and pin bones removed
• 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 red onion, finely diced
• 1 red bell pepper, seeded, deribbed and diced
• 1 tablespoon minced garlic
• 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
• 1/2 cup dried bread crumbs
• 1/2 cup sour cream
• Salt and freshly ground white pepper
• 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
• 1 teaspoon minced fresh dill


• Using a very sharp knife, chop the salmon until it resembles the texture of ground meat.

• Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat and sauté the onion, bell pepper, and garlic until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool. Add to the chopped salmon and mix well. Stir in the cilantro, 2 tablespoons of the bread crumbs, and 1/4 cup of the sour cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

• Put the remaining bread crumbs in a large, shallow dish. Form the salmon mixture into 16 patties, each about 2 inches in diameter and 1/2 inch thick. Coat each patty in the bread crumbs and place on a platter. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or as long as overnight.

• Pour 1 inch of oil in a large, heavy sauté pan and heat to 375°F over medium heat. Add half of the salmon cakes and cook until browned, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Keep warm in a low oven while cooking the remaining cakes.

• Combine the remaining 1/4 cup sour cream, the lemon zest, and dill in small bowl. Stir to blend. Place 2 salmon cakes on each of 8 warmed salad plates. Top each cake with a dollop of the sour cream mixture and serve warm.

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