Salmon Patties

This recipe, made from canned pink salmon, was one of the best selling items at my meat and three restaurant that I used to own. I made them every Thursday for 10 years and usually sold out of them. It is adapted from a Morrison’s Cafeteria recipe, and it was also a great selling item during my 17 years there.

Cook / Prep Time – About 30 minutes

Servings – 2 (about 6 3 oz. patties)

I forgot to put the shallots in this ingredient picture


  • 1 – 14.75 oz. can pink salmon
  • 2 shallots
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. Butter

  • 1 tsp. Lemon pepper seasoning

  • 12 saltine crackers, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • Lemon wedges for garnish

  • 3 tbsp. Canola or grape seed oil

Peel and dice the shallots. Place them in a frying pan with the butter on medium heat and sauté them until translucent. Remove heat and let them cool.

Open the salmon and drain the juice. Sort the salmon to remove any skin and pin bones. I highly recommend using kitchen gloves to do this so that your hands do not smell like fish for a week. ( you may crush the bones and leave them in if desired for a little extra protein)

Place the salmon in a mixing bowl. Add the cooled shallot/butter mixture and mix well. Add the lemon juice, lemon pepper, lemon zest and crushed saltines.

Mix together and form into six 3 ounce patties. Feel free to form bigger, thicker patties if you prefer. I like them thin and crispy!

Add the oil to a cast iron or carbon steel skillet on medium high heat. Add the salmon patties and brown well on both sides, about 5 minutes per side. Serve immediately with a few lemon wedges and your favorite side dish.


Suggested songs to listen to while preparing the salmon patties….

“The Salmon Dance” by the Chemical Brothers from their album “We Are the Night” released in 2007.

“Fish Song” by The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band from their album “All the Good Times” released in 1972.

A Road Trip to America’s Heartland

A few weeks ago, my younger brother from Florida and my younger sister from California flew into Nashville so we could depart on a road trip to Davenport, Iowa (where we were all raised) to see our two older sisters and their families who still reside there.

I have always loved the rolling cornfields in the Midwest, but I never liked the six months of winter. It was great to see God’s Country again because it had been several years since my last visit.

We had no timetable on our road trip – we just wanted to take our time and see the sights along the way. Below is a short photo journey of some of our sights along the road.

Along Route 66 in Illinois.
Route 66
Route 66
Davenport Iowa

Maid – Rite Diner. An Iowa institution. Delicious!

LeClaire Iowa

My friend Tom’s kaleidoscope sculpture on the Twilight Riverboat dock

A great frozen custard!

Our childhood home
Our childhood park, “Mother Gooseland”

Childhood Schools…..

Mississippi River view from Lookout Park Davenport, Iowa
Another Iowa staple, the giant pounded pork tenderloin sandwich

On the road again…

On the way back, we made a detour to Casey, Illinois to see some of the world’s largest items…

Then back on the road again. Unfortunately, we missed this….On to Louisville, Kentucky, where we needed a short bourbon tasting break….

Then back to Nashville. What a great trip! It was great to see the old homestead and family and friends!

Homemade Marinara Sauce with Fresh Tomatoes

This delicious Marinara sauce recipe uses fresh tomatoes, basil and oregano. A good tomato press really simplifies the procedure. It is great on it’s own as a pizza sauce or a dip for breadsticks, and it is excellent with pasta, with or without meat. My wife Susan loves it over our fresh homegrown spaghetti squash.

Cook / Prep Time – About 4 hours

Yield- 1 1/2 – 2 quarts


  • 5 pounds fresh Roma or paste tomatoes
  • 1 large fresh carrot
  • 3 large cloves fresh garlic
  • 2 fresh celery ribs
  • 3 fresh shallots
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil
  • 2 tbsp fresh oregano
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • Black pepper or red pepper flakes to taste
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 tbsp bottled lemon juice (if canning)

Clean and peel the vegetables. Cut them in chunks and chop them fine in a food processor with the fresh basil and oregano. Add the olive oil to a heavy bottomed pot and turn on low heat. When the olive oil heats up, add the chopped vegetables and herbs. Sauté on low heat until they are translucent. Add the red wine and continue to cook on low eat, stirring occasionally.

Put the tomato press together. Clean the tomatoes. After cleaning, set 1/2 pound aside. Cut the top off of the tomatoes and cut them in half. Run them through the tomato press. You can find the tomato press on Amazon for around 40 dollars.The tomato press will remove and separate the skin and seeds like the bottom picture illustrates. I throw that stuff in our compost pile. You will be left with a beautiful seedless, skinless tomato sauce.

Add the sauce to the sautéed vegetables and herbs. Add the honey and seasonings. Turn heat up to medium low. Continue to cook and stir every 15 minutes or so until the sauce reduces and thickens, about 2 to 3 hours. I prefer to use the sauce immediately or freeze it, but if you want to can it, divide the sauce between two jars and add 1 1/2 tsp. lemon juice to each jar. ***Warning: the smell is going to drive you crazy!

Enjoy! I promise you this sauce is well worth the effort!

P.S. – if you make this sauce, please shoot me a picture and let me know your results!

Suggested music to listen to while preparing the sauce…

” The Best of Dean Martin” released in October 1966 featuring “That’s Amore” and “Volare”