The Best Way To Make Salmon Croquettes, According To Adrienne Cheatham

Salmon croquettes are a savory Southern-style recipe that's similar to salmon patties, but they're fried until even crispier. They're a favorite brunch dish of Adrienne Cheatham, who became a food celebrity after shining in the finale of the competition series "Top Chef." Cheatham has also appeared on the show "Selena + Chef" and gave an exclusive interview to Tasting Table, where she offered hints for perfecting salmon croquettes. The chef recommends advanced prep as the key to success. 

"You don't have to do it all right before you plan to eat," said Cheatham, who worked for eight years at the three-Michelin star Le Bernardi restaurant. "You can make the salmon croquette mixture and form the patties the day before." Monitoring cooking time with any fish is critical, though. She warned, "If you cook it until it's cooked all the way through, it will be dry and overcooked by the time it hits your plate." 

Instead, she advises slightly undercooking your salmon to medium rare or medium, often referred to as carryover cooking. The internal heat will still rise by a few degrees in your final preparation, but the salmon will be juicy and delicious. When cool enough to handle, flake the salmon filets in a bowl with a fork.

How to make her salmon croquettes

While many salmon croquette recipes incorporate fillers like flour, breadcrumbs, or crackers, Cheatham's recipe relies solely on eggs to bind the ingredients. Mix in finely chopped shallot, green bell peppers, and parsley as well as Tabasco sauce, white wine, Worcestershire sauce, and eggs to consistency. Mold the salmon mixture into round balls, press to flatten a bit, and store in the refrigerator. Since the prep has been done prior to the day of your big event, you'll be able to finish the salmon croquettes quickly and calmly while your guests are mingling. 

"And then that way, you're just putting them in the sauté pan to brown them up and warm them, but you're not doing everything at the same time," Cheatham explained. Your salmon croquettes will be lightly browned and crispy on the outside. Then just garnish them with sweet onions and lemon zest. With these tips in mind, you'll have time to talk with your guests while simultaneously impressing them with your culinary prowess. It's truly a win-win.