This is Dinner and Change, a column about recipes that feed four people for about $10—or less.
I could go on and on about what makes these salmon cakes easily one of the best weeknight dinners you could ever cook. But I won’t, because it doesn’t seem kind to drone on for paragraphs and paragraphs about a dinner that comes together quicker than it would take you to read all that. Here’s the take-home: These crispy pan-seared salmon croquettes with dill sauce from Soul Food Love by Alice Randall and Caroline Randall Williams are truly easy to make, using just a few ingredients. They came together in 20 minutes flat. And they’re one of the best budget-friendly meals in my rotation.
While many salmon croquette recipes (just like recipes for crab cakes or other seafood-based patties) call for fillers like flour, breadcrumbs, or crackers, often bound with mayonnaise, this recipe relies solely on eggs to hold everything together. All you have to do to make the croquettes is combine canned salmon (canned trout would work well, too, if that’s what you have on hand) with chopped celery, onion, and beaten eggs in a bowl, season the mixture with salt and pepper and form them into ½-inch-thick patties. After cooking in a skillet for a few minutes with a little olive oil, the salmon patties become perfectly browned and crispy on the outside. The bits of onion and celery caramelize along the edges, and the inside of each patty remains rich and juicy. You could serve these with tartar sauce, but the recipe offers a refreshing alternative: a quick mix of sour cream (or plain yogurt), Dijon mustard, and freshly chopped dill.
The entire dish is so simple and so good—for less than $7 for four servings. The bulk of the expense comes from two 15-ounce cans of salmon, a container of yogurt, and a handful of fresh dill. The rest of the ingredients cost less than a dollar each, and you’ll likely have some leftover celery, sour cream, and mustard to use for other meals. If you’re only cooking for one or two—or you’ve got a bigger crowd to feed—it’s easy to scale the recipe up or down.
These salmon cakes are the ideal quick dinner or lunch, but I’ll tell you this: I like them so much, I’ve been known to enjoy them for lunch and dinner on the same day.Caroline Randall WilliamsAlice Randall
Canned salmon: $7.58, Fresh dill: $2.99, Sour cream: $1.05, Celery: $0.68, Onion: $0.50, Eggs: $0.40, Olive oil: $0.26, Pepper: $0.21, Dijon mustard: $0.17, Salt: $0.02 ($1.73 per serving). For more on how Epicurious prices out recipes, click here.
Use It Up
You’ll only use a cup and a half of sour cream for this recipe, so you may have extra for mixing into biscuits or dolloping onto breakfast nachos the next morning. Additionally, this recipe calls for four eggs, so if you purchased a dozen, you’ll have extra for topping quick, easy weeknight dinners later—may I suggest this One-Skillet Orzo With Tomatoes and Eggs or these Peppery, Creamy Greens With Eggs?
Originally Appeared on Epicurious