Alaska, Meet New York Double Salmon Burgers
My husband lived in Alaska for 10 years, working there as a journalist, however we now live in Upstate NY. One of the things my husband misses most about Alaska is the fresh, wild salmon that is caught there. I got the idea for this burger after we received some wonderful Bristol Bay sockeye salmon — the rich flavor and color just can’t be beat and the regular farmed Atlantic salmon we usually get in the stores here just pales in comparison. I thought it would be neat to combine the fresh Alaskan salmon with the New York inspired flavors of smoked salmon, dill, capers, onions and cream cheese — and let’s not forget the deli-style buns. The cucumber slaw is a variation on my Grandma Baron’s cucumber salad. This burger is the result of my experimenting and it’s absolutely delish! Alaska, meet New York!
For the Sour Cucumber Slaw:
1 large English cucumber
1 tsp salt
2 tsp vinegar
1 tbsp Hellman’s mayonnaise
1 tbsp yogurt
1 tbsp sour cream
1 tsp fresh dill, finely chopped
1 tsp fresh chives, snipped
For the Lemony Dilled Cream Cheese Spread:
6 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup Hellman’s Mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
3 tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper
2 tsp lemon zest, grated
For the Double Salmon Burgers:
1 1/2 lb fresh skinless wild Alaskan salmon fillet
1/2 lb smoked salmon (can use the cheaper smoked salmon scraps)
2 tbsp sour cream
1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
1 tsp garlic, finely minced
3 tbsp capers, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
vegetable oil (for brushing on the grill rack)
1 head red or green leaf lettuce, washed, leaves separated
6 pumpernickel or light rye buns, split
To make the Sour Cucumber Slaw: Slice the cucumber down the middle lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Coarsely grate the cucumber then place in a bowl with salt and vinegar. Mix well and set aside for between 30-60 minutes. Squeeze most of the liquid from the cucumbers, then, in a bowl, mix with mayonnaise, yogurt, sour cream, dill, and chives. Cover, set aside and keep cool.
To make the Lemony Dilled Cream Cheese Spread: In a bowl, mix softened cream cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, dill, salt, white pepper and lemon zest until smooth. Cover, set aside and keep cool.
To make the Double Salmon Patties: Cut the wild Alaskan salmon fillet into smaller chunks. Place in a food processor fitted with a metal blade and pulse until coarsely ground. Add smoked salmon and pulse until just combined. Place salmon mixture in a large bowl and add egg, sour cream, red onion, garlic, capers, bread crumbs, white pepper, dill and parsley. Mix well with hands. (If mixture is too wet to form into patties, you may add a little more of the panko).
Form into 6 large patties.
Brush preheated grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties over medium-high heat and cook, covered, for 3-4 minutes or until lightly browned on the bottom. Flip patties and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes or until just cooked through.
During the last few minutes of cooking, place split buns, cut side down, around the outer edges of the grill rack until lightly toasted.
To assemble the burgers: Spread the cut side of each roll with a generous amount of the Lemony Dilled Cream Cheese Spread. On each roll bottom, place a couple of leaves of lettuce, then a salmon patty, then a couple of spoonfuls of Sour Cucumber Slaw. Add the roll tops and serve immediately.