Salmon Croquettes

by Katherine Perry

Croquettes are another dish that blend together the desire for elegance and New England prudence. A French acquisition, these balls of meat and vegetables, coated in breadcrumbs and fried to crunchiness, were often shaped like pears to amuse guests. This croquette recipe also uses canned salmon, which would have been something of a luxury item at the time, as it only became widely available after the Civil War. But the dish’s versatility screams Yankee frugality. It could have been made with whatever leftover vegetables or meats were on hand, and if seasoned and presented properly, still do the cook credit.
Salmon Croquettes

Elizabeth Cecil

FROM UNKNOWN M.V. MANUSCRIPT, 1887
Mash two good-sized potatoes, a can of salmon, drained, with a teaspoon salt. Season with pepper, chopped parsley, a beaten egg. Fry in hot fat. Very Nice.


MODERN ADAPTATIONS
Use a large can of salmon—around 14 ounces gives a good ratio. While it is not mentioned here, it was typical to roll the mixture into logs and coat in breadcrumbs, if you plan to deep-fry them. You can also shape them into patties and fry in a shallow layer of oil, àla crab cakes. Or, if feeling particularly fancy, try your hand at fruit shapes.