I'm having a bit of a moral dilemma these days with Caroline. She seems to have made the connection that we eat animals, and she is not happy about it. It all started with one of baby Smith's teething toys. He has one that's shaped like a fish, and one day as he was chewing on it, we had this conversation:
Caroline: Baby Smith! You silly baby boy - we don't eat fish!
Me: Caroline, we do eat fish. We ate salmon last night
Caroline: Mommy, that's so silly. Salmon's not fish.
Me: Yes it is.
Caroline: (now getting upset). No mommy, we don't eat fish that swim in the oceans and rivers.
Me: Yes, Caroline, we do.
Caroline: (now crying) No! We only eat fish from the grocery store!
I am so touched and moved that she is so passionate and convicted, but I also don't want to count out an entire food group for her just yet. I tried to explain the circle of life, but I think I only made it worse because then she realized that we also eat chickens, cows, and pigs. Even though I mostly only buy organic, free range, wild-caught, etc, she doesn't see the distinction and wants no part of it. Luckily, we eat vegetarian a good bit, so it's only been an issue a few times during dinner. She hasn't wanted to eat beef, since the cow is her favorite animal. Or crab, since it's her favorite "fish." I'm still at a bit of a loss about what to do and how to handle it, but so far I've just told her what we're having for dinner and then let her decide. That's the thing about parenting - it's totally on the job training.
And now to move on to the recipe, I'll talk about these burgers! Caroline did actually eat these. One of the biggest complaints I hear about salmon is that wild-caught salmon (which IMO is the only kind worth buying!) is too expensive. Yes, it is pricey, but the great thing about this recipe is that one pound of salmon makes four servings. So it's definitely a more affordable option if you want to get those omega fatty acids!
And it's no wonder that these were such a hit with the whole family - they are full of all of our favorite things: cilantro, lime juice, jalapeños... a quick cilantro lime yogurt sauce adds a cool creaminess, and topping with avocado and extra hot sauce amps up the flavor even more. These were quick and easy, and a fun new way to eat salmon. And a fun new burger to add to my repertoire. Since apparently cows are off the menu for a while ;-)
Cilatnro-Lime Salmon Burgers
adapted from Cooking Light, May 2009
- 1 lb salmon, skim removed
- 1 Tbs greek yogurt
- 3 Tbs chopped fresh cilantro
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 tsp lime zest
- 1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 jalapeño, seeds and ribs removed, minced
- 2 Tbs chopped green onion (about 2 scallions)
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- dash of hot sauce
- freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 Tbs vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup Greek yogurt (low fat or fat free is fine)
- 2 Tbs lime juice
- 2 Tbs chopped cilantro
- salt and pepper
- a few dashes of hot sauce
- 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced
- handful of spinach leave or lettuce leaves, rinses
- 4 burger buns, split and toasted
- hot sauce, for passing at the table
Chop the salmon into 1-2 inch chunks, and transfer it to a food processor. Add the greek yogurt, cilantro, lime juice and zest, bread crumbs, garlic, jalapeño, green onion, salt and pepper, and hot sauce. Pulse several times to chop the salmon into small pieces and combine with the other ingredients.
Form the mixture into 4 equal-sized patties, each about 3/4-inch thick. Chill at least 30 minutes, or for up to several hours.
Meanwhile, whisk together all the ingredients for the cilantro-lime sauce. Cover and chill until ready to use.
Heat the oil in a nonstick (or cast iron) skillet over medium high heat. Carefully place the burgers in the skillet and cook 2 minutes. Flip, then cook an additional 2 minutes.
Serve each burgers on a toasted bun with spinach, the cilantro-lime juice, and sliced avocado. Pass the hot sauce at the table for serving.