quick, easy meals for non-chef, experimental kitchen inhabitants

I’d like to begin this blog post with an audacious statement: is there really any ordinary part of a day that’s better than food? That might have sounded like a question, but no, it was really more of a rhetorical question, which is in practical terms much more like a statement since everyone knows the answer. I can’t think of any other just “normal,” “mundane” part of human existence that is so fulfilling and filling both. Think about it. We often plan out our days around meals. We share meals and food with those we’re closest to, and that time is often the most conversational and heartfelt. In the Lord’s Prayer, the only physical request is “daily bread.”

I like to cook. I did maybe as much cooking as Mom growing up, just because work often kept her late. Still, somehow, I’m not a chef. I’m a non-chef, experimental kitchen inhabitant at best.

This last semester was my first semester “out on my own.” All the meals were up to me. And to be quite honest, I rarely cooked. I heated things up in the microwave. I made sandwiches. I snacked. I ate at Chick-fil-A and McDonald’s weekly. But cooking was more like a full moon in the phases of food attainment.

But it’s a new year, right? I like how you can make even the smallest changes and claim that for your reasoning. New beginnings and fresh starts (just like coffee and peanut butter) inspire the best in us – in me, I know. So I’m aiming to cook more this time around.

Attempt #1: Salmon Patties – This has been one of my favorite meat entrees that my mom makes for many years. She’s always told me it’s very easy, but I’ve never really attempted it. Today was a first, and they turned out deliciously!

Sizzle, sizzle.

Ingredients (in order of appearance):

  • olive oil
  • 1- 14.75 oz. can of salmon
  • crackers of your choice (I used Great Value’s Mozarella and Sun-Dried Tomato crackers, which added a burst of flavor.)
  • 1 egg

Directions: In a pan, heat oil over medium heat. In a mixing bowl, add canned salmon. Do not drain. Crush approximately 20 crackers (my estimation). This part is where you just have to use your best chef judgment. Add the crushed crackers in the bowl with the salmon. With your hands (the chef’s secret weapon), mix together the salmon and crackers until all the mixture is of the same consistency. It shouldn’t still be juicy, but it should be fairly moist – about as moist as meatloaf before it’s cooked. Finally, add an egg to the mixture and stir together with a spoon. Using the spoon and/or your hands, form circular patties about 4 inches in width and 1 inch in depth. Fry each patty for around 3-5 minutes on each side, or until brown. Remove from pan, let cool, and then devour. If you’re feeling daring, eat them with ketchup or barbeque sauce. Makes 6-8 patties. Time: 25 minutes. (Of course, if you buy pre-crushed crackers, it may not take as long. But this may take away the joys of making loud noises in the kitchen and being questioned by family members.)

Delicious salmon patty, served with brocolli and cheese.

Wow. That was extremely fun – writing a recipe out. Wouldn’t it be great for someone to start a blog with more quick, easy meals for non-chef, experimental kitchen inhabitants?