Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Smoked Salmon Potato Cakes

Last week, they released the menu for President Obama's inaugural lunch. The menu has been described as artisanal, sustainable and local. There will be Maine lobster atop a light clam chowder, bison tenderloin with a wild huckleberry sauce, sauteed cabbage, red potato cakes with horseradish, tiny golden beets and a butternut squash puree. For dessert, there will be individual Hudson Valley apple pies topped with sour cream ice cream, a maple syrup sauce, and a bit of honeycomb. Together, these dishes complete a menu designed to celebrate "Faith in the America's Future."

Foods are sourced from small farms that support responsible growing practices. Recipes for the dinner are well crafted and incredibly specific, down to how many pieces of lobster to place in the bowl and precisely where they should be placed.

Unfortunately, I wasn't one of the 225 lucky guests to receive an invitation to the luncheon, but I'm preparing to celebrate alongside the President and the First Family regardless.

That's where these potato cakes come in. There a bit different than the ones President Obama will be enjoying, but I think they're just delightful. They use your standard white potatoes (I find red potatoes can be a bit watery for potato cakes). I'm substituting smoked salmon for horseradish (my preference, and a perfect sustainable treat for me).

They're surprisingly light and flavorful.

Make yourself a potato cake, take a big bite, and smile, thinking ahead to the next four years.

Smoked Salmon Potato Cakes
recipe adapted from the Kitchn

This recipe yielded 14 patties for me. You could have more or less, depending on how large you wanted them to be.

4 medium white potatoes, scrubbed, peeled and diced
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup smoked salmon, chopped
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
Canola oil

In a large saucepan, add diced potatoes. Cover with water. Add 1 teaspoon salt. Heat the potatoes over high heat until the mixture boils, then reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are cooked through and soft, about 10 to 15 minutes. A fork should go easily through the potatoes.

Drain the potatoes, and transfer them back to the saucepan (no need to dirty another pan or bowl!). Mash the potatoes with the back of a spoon or a potato masher. Set the potatoes aside to cool.

When the potatoes are cool, add chopped smoked salmon, mayonnaise, lemon juice and salt. Stir well.

Place the potato and salmon mixture in the fridge to cool for at least 30 minutes.

Form the mixture into even patties. In a small bowl, add 1 egg and stir well. In another bowl, place the bread crumbs. Transfer a patty into the egg mixture, and then place it in the bread crumbs, turning to coat the patty. Place the patties on a plate until you're ready to use them. The sooner you transfer them to the pan, the crispier the outer layer will be!

In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons canola oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the smoked salmon cakes. Cook about 4 minutes on each side, until the cakes are seared and browned.

Serve with lemon wedges, or top with a fried or poached egg.


  1. I'm definitely going to have to go check out that menu!! And I love that they're placing an emphasis on local and small farms. THat's awesome. As are these potato cakes. I LOVE smoked salmon. mmmm.

    1. Yes! It's worth checking out. It's so elaborate, but I love that every little bit of the menu is well planned out!