Here's a dish that looks (and tastes) pretty impressive, but you can pull it off in a short time if you have all your shit together. You should make it for your significant other or anyone else you'd like to impress. It's salmon cakes with homemade bearnaise sauce!

Do you have a someone in your life who frequently cooks large meals and sends you home with leftovers? You should have one. Maybe you should become that person in someone else's life. Thanks to a whole fish cookout the other day, we've got some leftover salmon to use. Do not fret if you aren't so fortunate: you can used canned salmon or any leftover fish.

Bearnaise sauce is hollandaise plus a little extra. If you are unfamiliar with hollandaise, you are living a sad existence. There are a lot of cheats and shortcuts for making it, but we'll be going over a traditional method that uses a double boiler, so make sure you have one of those.

Salmon Cakes

1 lb. cooked salmon

1 egg

1 handful wheat germ

1/2 an onion, minced

1/2 stalk of celery, minced

1 clove of garlic, minced

A pinch of dry mustard

A pinch of lemon zest

Salt and pepper

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

A few pinches fresh parsley and tarragon, minced

Pick through the fish to remove any bones that might still be in there. Or just pray to St. Blaise to intercede on your behalf regarding the prevention of choking.

Continue to get your hands dirty by  mashing all the ingredients together with your hands. If it looks kinda dry, add a splash of white wine, or milk.

Divide the mixture up into portions. Ask yourself, "How big do I want these to be?" Then divide it accordingly. Use a scale if you want to be sure they're uniformly sized.

Put a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add some olive oil.

Form the portions of fish mixture into patties, and place them in the hot pan. Don't overcrowd them; you have to be able to get in there and flip them.

After 4-6 minutes, flip them, and cook the other side until it's golden brown and delicious.

Drain on absorbent paper, and keep them in a warm oven while you make the sauce.

Don't want to bother with the bearnaise? Plate 'em and squirt some catsup on there.

Bearnaise Sauce

3 egg yolks (do this with the whites)

1 tbsp tarragon-infused vinegar*

1/2 stick of butter, cut into 1/2 tbsp pieces, at room temperature

Fresh tarragon and parsley, minced

Set up your double boiler so the bottom piece has some hot water going just under a simmer.

Put the egg yolks in the top piece of the double boiler; mix them together with the vinegar.

Constantly stir this stuff over the heat until it starts getting thick. Be careful not to scramble the eggs.

Add the butter, one piece at a time. Stir each piece in until it is completely incorporated before adding the next.

Once all the butter is in there, stir in the herbs. Spoon it over your salmon cakes.

The trick is to stir constantly and to keep an eye on it the whole time. If it looks like the eggs are solidifying, take the double boiler insert off the hot water and continue adding butter. If the butter isn't melting in, return it to the hot water. If it seems too thick, add another splash of the vinegar. If it seems too thin, continue stirring it over the hot water.

* Boil some fresh tarragon  (and a clove of garlic) in vinegar for a few minutes. It will begin to look like green tea. Strain out the solids. You need to let it cool before you use it, so do this first. You only need a little bit for this recipe, so find other neat things to do with your homemade flavored vinegar.




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