Friday, July 30, 2010

It figures.

I am a bona fide rain-loving chick. I can sense how obnoxious I am when people say "Ahh, this is an awful day...what a mess", and I respond with a sheepish, "Actually, I like it". I mean seriously, don't ya just hate those you've-obviously-been-in-therapy-and-I-can-tell-what-your-latest-sessions-have-been-dealing-with-responses?? I feel like the Pavlov's dog of positivity who's been trained to respond in such a manner... Encounter a grumpy person who's clearly already suffering from seasonal affective disorder?? Smile, and give them your most annoying answer. (And try not to get your face punched in).

But the thing is, I really love it. Like, alot. I'm sorta the opposite of most people; I get sick of days upon days of sunshine. Dad-gum blue sky after blue sky. There's nothing like a dark gray storm front to turn my mood around! This being said, we've had a pretty dry month around here. I've longed for rain (not just for my mood, but for the garden too). I've never been much into checking the weather; I figure if it rains, it rains and if it's doesn't, it doesn't. But this dry spell's got me checking the weather 3 times a day. It's as if I can will it to rain by doing so. Every day last week had about a 30% chance for scattered thunderstorms, but each day they were scattered away from us.
I'd seen this recipe for soy glazed salmon burgers on Foodbuzz and was waiting for the perfect night to try it. Monday night I was out of ginger, Tuesday night I had to do drawings, Wednesday and Thursday I was working, but by Friday the planets had aligned and it was time to give it a go. The girl and I had spent the day at the pool with family; it was hot as blazes and not a cloud in sight (one of those spf unrealistic number days). Around 2:00 a thunderhead started rolling in and by the time we were driving home, it was actually hailing. SO exciting! This seemed like a perfect way to transition from a fun day to a great Friday night with a salmon burger on the menu!

I'd had a feeling that this "burger" was gonna' be blog-worthy, and I knew that this afternoon thunderstorm would move out just in time to take some photos before dinner. When we got home the rain was still coming down. The house started getting darker, and darker, and within minutes I had to turn lights on; it was literally as dark as nighttime. It was cool, but almost a little apocalyptic and creepy...I mean, it was pitch black at 3 in the afternoon. 4:00 came and went. Still dark. crew was starting to get irritable. I had no choice. The food was ready and we were hungry. And it was still crazy dark. No photos for me.So, I was right about one thing...this was definitely blog-worthy. (Actually, I'm afraid you won't believe me if I say it so soon after the last time, but this actually receives the "If I had a restaurant I'd put it on the menu" accolade). Really. We loved it! What I was wrong about, was my thinking that it wasn't the end of the world and this storm would move on out. There was not one ounce of natural light to photograph these burgers by, which is such a shame because they were so pretty! I found myself being frustrated by this and then had to just let it I was, having the most awesome weather, the weather that I'd been longing for, the weather that really did make a perfect ending to a great day, and I was complaining because of stupid food blog pictures. So, I got a grip, I took pictures under the bright kitchen lights, I sat down to dinner with my family, and had a DELICIOUS meal on a stormy, dark Friday night. And it was perfect.

Soy Glazed Salmon Burgers with Ginger-Lime Aioli
(I tweaked the original recipe a bit; they used salmon filets and though I'm sure it would be delicious, I wanted to try a more economical route. Also, I added the cabbage because I felt like it needed some crunch and some color. Good move). *This would also be awesome with crab cakes!

First, make aioli:

Ginger-Lime Aioli
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. mayo (I use Duke's)
  • 2 tbsp. sour cream
  • 1 tsp. fresh garlic, minced
  • juice of half a lime
  • 1 tsp. ginger (fresh, finely minced or ginger paste)
  • pinch kosher salt
Combine all, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.

Next, make soy glaze:

Soy Glaze
  • 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. corn starch
  • 2 tbsp. orange juice
Whisk all ingredients together in a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat, watching carefully and whisking often, until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and set aside.

Salmon Burgers
  • 24 oz. canned "chunk-style" boneless, skinless pink salmon (well drained)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp. hot sauce
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup panko
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced (or a good handful of chopped fresh chives)
Gently stir all ingredients together. Shape into 4 large "burgers". Add 3 tbsp. oil to a non-stick skillet (I use my large electric skillet for this) and heat over med/high heat until nice and hot. Add burgers and cook for about 3 minutes on each side. When burgers are done, brush the top of each burger with the soy glaze until well-coated. (*Note- you will have some glaze leftover; some will be used for the cabbage, but you will still have a bit left). Turn heat down to low, just to keep burgers warm while you prepare cabbage (don't cover with a lid; they'll get soggy).

Wilted Red Cabbage
  • 1 tbsp. oil
  • 1 cup red cabbage, thinly sliced (NOT grated)
  • 1 tsp. soy glaze (recipe above)
  • 2 tbsp. fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. When hot, add cabbage and cook, tossing often for about 2 minutes, or until just wilted. Remove from heat and toss with 1 tsp. soy glaze and fresh cilantro. Serve on burgers immediately.

To assemble burgers:
Place burger on a large bun, top with wilted cabbage, drizzle with aioli, and top with bun.


Jenny said...

I love rainy days too! (go figure :) We've been having nothing but sun around here and it's driving me nuts. The burgers look delish!

foodies at home said...

I love rainy days, especially when I can snuggle in at home and be nice and cozy!

Great job on the burgers! Right now I have a strange obsession with exotic burgers and toppings and this is definitely going into my repertoire!

wasabi prime said...

Yum, these look beautiful! And so flavorful with the soy glaze. I've had salmon burgers before, but these look like an absolute winner. And I'm totally with you on the rainy day feelings. I've lived in enough places of endless sun, so maybe that's why I wound up in the state of endless rain -- Washington. The grey skies can be a bit of a downer at times, but I enjoy cozy comforts that much more when the rain comes.

Brie: Le Grand Fromage said...

hooray! so glad to find another foodie who is happier when it rains! i like the sexy atmosphere of dark storm clouds, huddled up inside the house sometimes listening to the lightning and thunder, and if the rain isn't too harsh, i'll even purposefully go run my errands to enjoy the rain since everyone else is in hiding. i like the exotic burger you've added to the mix of mysterious storm clouds. awesome!

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