It's fun sometimes to go back and revisit those classic recipes that you remember from childhood. We both have fond memories of our mother's making a pretty tasty salmon loaf (mostly on Friday nights). But when you really look at it, it's actually a pretty basic meal that was more likely made for its value and its ability to feed a family.
This web site, dedicated to preserving vintage cookbooks and recipes, has a scan of a salmon loaf recipe from 1942 (that included Rice Krispies!).
A few months ago, we noticed the canned salmon at our local supermarket and decided we should pick up a few and make that salmon loaf again someday. Well, that day came to pass recently.
I found lots of basic salmon loaf recipes online. But then I decided to take a different approach and do my interpretation of a recipe update. I'd keep the basics (canned salmon, eggs, bread crumbs) but up the herbs and seasonings. So that "dash of pepper" is updated to "generous." Many recipes call for only dried parsley so I broadened the list to add some variety. Then I decided to top it with something thoroughly modern - panko bread crumbs.
It's still a "value meal" and still quite tasty. Some roasted fingerling potatoes from the box and a bottle of Pinot from our cellar rounded out the meal. Our cat purred contentedly as we enjoyed it.
Salmon Loaf - Revisited
- 1 can (16 oz.) salmon
- 1 cup bread crumbs
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup milk
- 3 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 3 Tbsp. minced onions (I used about 1/4 of the red onion in the box this week)
- 1 Tbsp. dried parsley
- 1/2 tsp. dried dill
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- generous amount of black pepper
- 1/2 tsp. Penzey's Mural of Flavor seasoning - or use any herb mixture: Italian Seasoning mix, bouquet garni, or whatever you have
- dash of lemon pepper
- pinch of "heat" - cayenne pepper, ground chili powder - I used Penzey's Arizona Dreaming seasoning
- 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
- Open the can of salmon and flake the meat into a bowl removing any skin and bones (Feed your cat the skin and water).
- Add all other ingredients except panko bread crumbs. Stir to mix but get your hands in there and really mix it up.
- Place the mixture into a buttered casserole dish.
- Form the mixture into a loaf with your hands.
- Press a thin layer of panko bread crumbs into the loaf.
- Bake for 45 minutes, or until loaf is firm.