Enjoy fresh from the lake burgers with hot from the oven buns

The Labour Day weekend is the last blast of summer before children return to school and families start to close up the cabin for another year.

Here are some menu ideas to use up the summer’s catch of the day.

Salmon Burgers

I made this recipe using steelhead trout but any fish works. The rule of thumb for cooking fish is 10 minutes in the pan for every inch of thickness, cooking half the time on each side. Overcooking will make a dry patty.

Asian flavours pair well with fish and this quick pickle can be made at the same time you are making the salmon burgers. The following two recipes can be refrigerated for a day before using. The salmon burgers are firmer and hold together better after a few hours of chilling.

  • 1 1/2 lb. skinless, boneless salmon 750 g
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard 10 mL
  • 2 shallots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1/2 c. coarse bread crumbs 125 mL
  • 1 tbsp. capers, drained and rinsed 15 mL
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. butter or olive oil 30 mL
  • lemon wedges
  • Tabasco sauce

Cut the salmon into large chunks and put one-quarter into a food processor with the mustard. Pulverize, stopping to scrape down the sides, until the mixture becomes pasty.
Add the shallots and remaining salmon and pulse the machine on and off until the fish is chopped and well combined. No piece should be larger than one-quarter inch.

Transfer the mixture into a bowl, then stir in the bread crumbs, capers and some salt and pepper. Shape into four burgers. They can be covered and refrigerated for a few hours at this point.
Place butter or oil in a 12-inch (30.5 cm) non-stick skillet and set on medium heat. When the oil is hot, cook burgers for three minutes each side depending upon the thickness, turning once. If you grill them, let them firm up on the first side, grilling about four minutes, before turning over and finishing for just another minute or two. Serve on a bed of greens, on buns or by themselves, with lemon wedges and Tabasco or your favourite dressing.

Rainbow Carrot Sesame Pickles

  • 1/4 c. rice vinegar 60 mL
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil 5 mL
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar or sugar substitute 2 mL
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt 1 mL
  • 1/4 tsp. mild red pepper flakes 1 mL
  • large pinch of black sesame seeds
  • 3 c. thinly sliced carrots in a variety of colours 750 mL

In a large glass or ceramic bowl, whisk together rice vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, salt, pepper flakes and sesame seeds. Stir in carrots. Set aside at room temperature, stirring every few minutes for 30 minutes.

Serve at room temperature or refrigerate for up to two days in an airtight container and serve cold.
Source: adapted from The Perfect Pantry.

Multi-grain Buns

Keep this dough soft to the point of being almost sticky. Use butter rather than flour if the dough is sticking to your hands. The amount of flour required will vary with the weather so don’t feel as though you have to strictly follow the recipe.

  • 2 pkg. active dry yeast
  • 3 c. warm water 750 mL
  • 1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour 375 mL
  • 1 c. old-fashioned oats 250 mL
  • 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 c. sesame seeds 60 mL
  • 1/4 c. salted sunflower kernels 60 mL
  • 1/4 c. canola oil 60 mL
  • 3 tbsp. butter, softened 45 mL
  • 2 tbsp. sugar 30 mL
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt 7 mL
  • 1 tsp. caraway seeds 5 mL
  • 1/2 tsp. white vinegar 2 mL
  • 5 1/2-6 c. all purpose flour 1.375 – 1.5 L
  • 2 tbsp. water 30 mL
  • additional oats

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the whole wheat flour, oats, egg, sesame and sunflower seeds, oil, butter, sugar, salt, caraway, vinegar and two cups (500 mL) flour. Beat until smooth. Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
Turn onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about eight minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled, about one hour.
Punch dough down. Shape into 18 round balls. Slightly flatten each into a 4 1/2 inch (11.4 cm) disk. Place on greased baking sheets. Beat egg yolk with water and brush over buns. Sprinkle with oats, cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
Bake at 350 F (180 C) for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans. Makes 1 1/2 dozen.
Source: adapted from Taste of Home Oct. 1995

Sarah Galvin is a home economist, teacher and farmers’ market vendor at Swift Current, Sask., and a member of Team Resources. She writes a blog at allourfingersinthepie.blogspot.ca. Contact: team@producer.com.

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