I was recently asked by an advertiser if I could do a canned tuna recipe for Chicken of the Sea. Unfortunately, I switched advertisers and couldn’t comply. It got me thinking though so I made this salmon loaf with Chicken of the Sea Pink Salmon.
MaryJo has made salmon loaf for us in the past, but not for a long time. She always made it like her mom used to make and I took the basics of that recipe and added a few of my own touches. The truth of the matter is, this was the second salmon loaf I made. The first one tasted great but it crumbled when cut. I wanted to make a loaf that both tasted great but didn’t fall apart when you cut it. Can anyone relate to that? So here are some of the things I did to make the…
Perfect Salmon Loaf
First, I figured that the vegetables were chopped too coarsely. To fix that is easy…just chop them up smaller. Then, I read that having a little more oil in the mixture helps to hold the meat together. I used 2 tablespoons of butter to saute and soften the vegetables. The softened vegetables insured that they would mix in well with the salmon and subsequently, cut easily.
Secondly, is soaking the cracker crumbs before they are mixed in. It makes sense that dry crumbs could leave dry spots that wouldn’t hold together well once baked. Use the liquid from the salmon can for extra salmon flavor.
Thirdly, break up the salmon really well so it mixes well with the other ingredients. To do this, I used a pastry cutter. A fork would work too, just take the time to get the salmon separated into small pieces.
The photo below shows the mixed ingredients and the salmon is like a thick batter.
Finally, I used Crisco to grease the loaf pan. It made the salmon loaf fall right out onto the platter. On my first attempt I used cooking spray and had some of the crust stick to the pan. I wouldn’t recommend using butter since it may burn. Also, carefully pressing the salmon mix into the loaf pan assures there will be no air pockets which may cause the loaf to not cut well.
I let the baked salmon loaf rest for 5 minutes before turning it onto a platter. The exterior had a really nicely browned crust. Best of all, the loaf held together beautifully when cut. This will also be good for leftover salmon sandwiches.
If you’d like to make a dill white sauce, make a roux with 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of all purpose flour. Whisk in 1 1/2 cups of milk and simmer for 3 or 4 minutes, add a pinch of salt and pepper and around 2 teaspoons dried dill or a tablespoon of chopped fresh dill.
This is a dish packed with protein, healthy fats, vitamins D and B12 and a can of Chicken of the Sea salmon cost me $2.09. This is a bargain for such a great tasting meal. Give it a try.
Perfect Salmon Loaf
- 1 14.5 oz . can salmon
- 1/2 onion finely chopped
- 1 large celery rib , finely chopped
- 2 tbsp butter
- 25 saltine crackers , (1 cup crumbs)
- 1/4 cup half and half
- 2 eggs
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp dried dill weed
- 2 tsp worcestershire sauce
- 2 tsp sriracha sauce
- 2 tsp anchovy paste , optional but it adds a lot of umami to enhance the flavor
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- Crisco or cooking spray
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Open the salmon can, pour the liquid into a small bowl and place the salmon into a large mixing bowl.
- Use a pastry cutter or fork to break up the salmon into very small pieces.
- Crumble the saltine crackers by hand or in a food processor and place in the small bowl with the juice from the canned salmon and add the half and half to fully soak the crumbs.
- Saute the onion and celery in a skillet with the butter until slightly softened 3 minutes and add to the salmon.
- Add the soaked cracker crumbs to the salmon and toss with a spoon or spatula until combined well.
- Crack the eggs into the small bowl you used for the crumbs and beat together with a fork and add to the salmon mixture.
- Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
- Grease a 4" by 8" loaf pan with Crisco or spray well with cooking oil.
- Add1/3 of the salmon into the pan and pack it well into the corners
- Add the remaining salmon and pack it well.
- Place in the oven for 45 mins and the internal temperature is 160°.
- Remove from the oven, rest for 5 minutes, then turn over onto a serving platter.
- Serve with dill white sauce.