Every now and again, we have to stand up and face a harsh food reality. Not every recipe will be as glorious as its colorful reviews claim, as mouth watering as its loyal followers emphatically state, or look as appealing as in their beautifully staged and thoughtfully designed photos intend. I concocted just such a food bomb the other day, with nothing but good intentions and eager anticipation. Perhaps the smoky sweet potato cornbread that sounded like such a perfect blend will be reborn around here someday, but I'm happy to say some good came out of the whole mess. In the green spirit of recycling, the dense, dry, rip your fillings out monstrosity was repurposed and played a key role in these teriyaki salmon sliders. Redemption is mine!
Teriyaki Salmon Sliders
Teriyaki Salmon Burgers
2 lb salmon (fillets or canned)
1 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs*
1/2 cup chopped scallions
6 Tbsp teriyaki sauce
1 1/2 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp Sriracha sauce
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2tsp ground black pepper
1/3 tsp kosher salt
Pulse salmon in food processor until desired size of salmon chunks are obtained. Remove salmon from food processor and place in mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix with a spoon until fully incorporated. Divide mixture in four equal portions. Score each portion into four equal sized amounts. Roll out 16 small slider patties, approximately 2-3 ounces each. Pan fry in dry skillet over medium heat until golden brown on each side. Top with lettuce, tomato and red onion if desired.
* I used breadcrumbs from the cornbread, but plain fresh bread crumbs are fine.
1 1/4 whole milk
6 Tbsp vegetable shortening (non hydrogenated is preferred)*
3 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 packet active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
1 tsp kosher salt
Bring milk to a simmer over medium heat. As soon as milk simmers, remove from heat and stir in shortening until combined. Let cool as you prepare the dry ingredients.
Combine all dry ingredients into mixing bowl. When liquid has cooled (between 105F - 115F) slowly add to dry ingredients, mixing with a dough hook.
Mix on low until dough comes away from the sides of the bowl and forms a ball, about 1 minute. Increase speed to medium low and mix until dough is smooth and springy, about 4 minutes.
Lightly oil a large mixing bowl, add dough, and turn to coat in oil. Cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm area until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Punch down dough and turn onto a clean surface. Divide dough into 16 pieces. Shape each piece into a smooth, round bun (keep the rest covered with the towel as you work). Slightly flatten bun and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Repeat to make 16 buns.
Place buns in a warm area until slightly risen and puffy (note that they will not double in size), about 30 to 40 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 400°F and arrange the rack in the middle.
When buns have risen, bake in the oven until they are golden brown, crusty, and have an internal temperature of 190°F, about 15 to 17 minutes. Remove from the oven, transfer to a rack, and let cool at least 10 minutes before serving
* I used hydrogenated vegetable shortening (Crisco) based purely on cost. The non hydrogenated shortening was close to 8 bucks and we all know Crisco is a bit more affordable.
So the results.. were fantastic. The burgers were moist, decidedly not dry compared to prior attempts at salmon burgers. These could absolutely be cooked on the grill as well. A slice of red onion with the burger was a perfect sweet tang that balanced the subtle heat of the sriracha. The buns, however, were not my finest work. My bread baking is primarily limited to banana bread, a couple of loaves of honey wheat and one stellar attempt at Irish soda bread, so the delicate sublteties of bread making are not my forte. At least for now. They were a little bit doughy and heavy, but the sweet light flavor did not disappoint. Definitely heed the part in the recipe to keep the dough under a towel as you work to make the buns. I conveniently skipped that, and a slight tough skin formed around the exposed dough, affecting their willingness to take their destined bun shapes. I topped these with a sriracha mayonnaise and was very pleased with the taste combination. Give these a spin at your next Sunday football party, they're sure to be a hit.