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Mar 21, 2008 11:21 AM

"The New Basics" Salmon Croquettes

I am eager to try this raved-about recipe. I was wondering, though, how crucial the sorrel mayonnaise is? Has anyone made the recipe, without the sorrel mayonnaise, and, if so, how were the croquettes?
Also, can anyone suggest an alternative or substitute for the sorrel, if I can't get it here in New York? Where CAN I get it, and would basil be a good substitute?
I know these are a lot of questions, so thanks.

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  1. I think those are a favorite of jfood's! You might try searching user:jfood and croquettes and see what you come up with, or maybe he'll chime in. I find it is often difficult to find sorrel, even in NYC. I think basil could be lovely, or maybe dill.

    Edit - just looked at the recipe. You could really make all sorts of different mayonnaises that would be lovely with the croquettes, I think. Meyer lemons might be nice. I also just made a creme fraiche sauce with savory (well, with mint, thyme and rosemary in place of savory - all mashed up in the mortar, then added to the creme fraiche, and it was delicious with salmon).

    3 Replies
    1. re: MMRuth

      Sorrel's seasons (in the northeast US) are spring and a bit in the fall. (It probably would not survive a round the world or transcontinental truck trip.)
      sorrel is very perishable and is best grown in your back yard. (It's a very hardy perennial almost as stable and longlasting as rhubarb)

      It has a sour note; spinach and lemon would be my suggested substitutes. Ruth's ideas sound good too.
      But a true simple sorrel sauce over roast salmon is divine!

      1. re: NYchowcook

        I agree - it is wonderful. Sorrel soup too.

        1. re: NYchowcook

          Sorrel was part of my family's Polish Easter tradition. As a little girl I'd go to the Connecticut woods with my dad to gather sorrel. Easter's a bit early this year so don't know if sorrel is available yet wild or from the garden.

          You can make a lot of mayo's to go with the croquette. A basil mayo would be good as you suggested, but it is not a substitute for sorrel's sour, tangy taste. As mentioned the spinach/lemon combo would be closest.

          This link to Chow's ingrediant list says that there is some canned sorrel in gourmet shops ... but it would be like the difference in using fresh spinach or canned spinach.

      2. Jfood here and yes they are one of his favorites and, in fact jfood saw some really lonely cans in the pantry this morning so they are in the planning stage for sunday. They are fantastic without the mayo.
        - he has never used the sorrel mayo.
        - jfood has no idea where to find sorrel this time of year in the northeast.
        - not buying into basil mayo at all,
        - if anything a nice tarragon mayo or a roasted garlic aoili may go better if you are really desirous of a mayo-type side

        Let us know how they come out. You may want a pair of plastic gloves to make the patties.

        4 Replies
        1. re: jfood

          I've not tried these croquettes, so I defer to jfood, but the reason I suggested the basil is that one of my favorite salmon recipes has a lovely butter/basil/tomato sauce - a combination I would not have thought of, but that works very nicely.

          1. re: MMRuth

            jfood thinks the basil/butter/tomato sauce sounds wonderful for some salmons, but the flavor of the croquettes would fight the basil. Plus jfood palate has not really moved to spring yet, so the roasted garlic flavors are still in his brain.

            Jfood will definitely give the basil-mayo a spin mid summer when the garden is in full bloom. Thanks again MM

            1. re: jfood

              What about making a mayo sauce with watercress and a tiny bit of lemon juice? I think I would put in some parsley and a little green onion too. That is a nice spring flavor which isn't going to clash with the salmon. I love watercress. Wish I had that cookbook, for the recipe. Some wonderful salmon croquettes sounds good.

          2. re: jfood

            I usually make a mayo with fresh thyme, a little shallot and lemon zest and a teeny bit of flat leaf parsley. Or a clove of roasted garlic thrown in there when you are making the mayo--no herb necessary, maybe just a hint of fresh lemon juice.
            I do see sorrel at Fairway when it's ready. I would call and ask.

          3. try a lemony-kicked up mayo with a little zest in it. nychowcook has a good idea with the spinach and lemon. i'm not in the basil-mayo-as-substitute camp -- too strong, imo. btw, for future reference, sorrel is easy to grow.

            1. Thank you all so very much. I was re-assured when jfood said he did not make the sorrel mayonnaise, and the coquettes were delicious anyway.
              Probably not for this batch, but I will try the spinach/lemon mayo, and perhaps, some day, even the sorrel mayo.
              Thanks everyone for your help.
              BTW, when I was young, my bubbie used to make "schav" which I learned, much later, is sorrel soup. I loved it!!!

              1 Reply
              1. re: bxgirl


                jfood is making as well tomorrow so you can compare notes.

                From experience here are a few pointers.
                - empty the can of salmon onto a cutting board. There will be a bunch of juice, just wipe it with a paper towel (you will curl your nose at least once and say what's that). just keep going
                - slowly separate the scanned salmon along the bone and take out the bones (some people like the bones, not jfood). It is best to use some plastic gloves at this point
                - Remember to take some of the salmon and leave to the side the fold back in at the last step
                - Remember not to place all the bread cumbs into the mixture and keep to coat before frying

                Good luck

              2. So lovely is the Sorrel Mayonnaise. Sorrel's unique piquancy derives from high amounts of oxalic acid. Spinach has a fair amount of oxalic, and parsley even more. A
                parley/spinach/lemonzest mayo is a nice thing, and has a hint of the sorrel notes. Beet greens and chard are other oxalics.

                As to the canned salmon: I've gotten into a mode of using the food processor to get rid of a bit of the "yuck" factor, yet still get the full omega/calcium benefit of the skin and bones. I drain the can liquid into the processor, then dissect the spine and skin on the cutting board, and then place the skin and bones and fat globs into the processor and pulse until it is a paste. (Prior to this I've pulsed half of the celery and onions). This serves as a good folding matrix.

                Would someone be so kind as to post an appropriately modified recap of the recipe under discussion? What binder? role of eggs?