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Salmon cakes with dill-horseradish sauce

October 1, 2008

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Serves 8

Look for hot-smoked salmon in thick fillets; it has a milder flavor and meatier texture than thinly sliced cold-smoked salmon. Make the sauce and form the salmon cakes a day ahead and refrigerate. Before serving, fry the cakes.

SAUCE

1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup bottled white horseradish, or more to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1. In a bowl, whisk the sour cream, horseradish, dill, salt, and pepper.

2. Taste for seasoning and add more salt, pepper, or horseradish, if you like.

CAKES

3 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
3 medium Yukon Gold or Yellow Finn potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
Kosher salt, to taste
1/2 cup thinly sliced chives or scallions
1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut up
3/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 pound hot-smoked salmon, skinned, dark muscle scraped off, and crumbled
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups fine white bread crumbs
4 tablespoons olive oil, or more if needed

1. In a medium pot, combine the russet and yellow potatoes, cover with cold water by about 1 inch, add plenty of salt, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife. Drain them into a colander and transfer to a medium bowl.

2. With a potato masher, work the chives or scallions, butter, and pepper into the potatoes. With a large spoon, fold in the salmon, eggs, 1/2 cup of the bread crumbs, and pepper. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like. Cool to room temperature.

3. Set the oven at 375 degrees. Have a large rimmed baking sheet on hand.

4. Form the potato mixture into 16 patties, each 1 inch thick. Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup bread crumbs on a shallow plate. Dredge the patties in the crumbs, pressing the rounds against the crumbs so they adhere.

5. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil until it is shimmering. Add as many of the cakes as will fit in one layer. Cook for 3 minutes or until they start to brown and become crisp. Turn and cook the other side for 2 minutes. Transfer to paper towels and turn the cakes to pat off excess oil. Transfer to the baking sheet. Cook the remaining cakes in the remaining oil in the same way.

6. Bake the potato cakes for 10 minutes or until they are hot in the center (a paring knife inserted into the middle of the cake is hot on your wrist when withdrawn). Serve with horseradish sauce. Tony Rosenfeld