A healthy and zesty way to use leftover or canned salmon or other fish, Hatch Chile Salmon Cakes with Avocado Crema combine flaked salmon with mashed sweet potato, Hatch green chile, and bell pepper with spices. The crispy, tender patties then get topped with avocado crema. Delicioso!
Don’t loaf and invite inspiration; light out after it with a club, and if you don’t get it you will nonetheless get something that looks remarkably like it.~~ Jack London, American novelist.
👩🏻🍳 Tamara Talks - About Hatch Green Chile and Recipe Inspiration
These green chile salmon cakes first appeared on Beyond Mere Sustenance in 2014... time flies! We love the recipe, and it deserved an update with text and photos in 2020. The text below is original:
In last week's post, I mentioned the fact that our much-anticipated chile season in southern New mexico is upon us. It is difficult to explain a New Mexican's love of green chile, red chile, all things chile...
While awaiting the delivery of fresh chile to our local markets, I've hoped for new and creative ways to use one of my very favorite ingredients to spontaneously come to mind. It hasn't happened.
So, I decided to take Jack London's approach, and go after inspiration "with a club." More simply put, I decided to experiment. Experimentation in the kitchen can be risky... I win a few, and I lose a few. My husband and I decided this one was a winner.
This recipe started a couple of weeks ago when I brought home a really nice salmon fillet. Most weeknights, I cook for two, so 2 pounds of fish was far too much for one meal. I stand firm on portion sizes, and stick very closely to 4-6 ounce portions of meat, poultry, and seafood.
Thursday evening's meal was simple - we grilled the whole salmon fillet, brushing it with a really nice vanilla and fig balsamic vinegar. After dinner, I used a fork to flake the salmon, and refrigerated it for later use.
Since I'd decided I wanted to incorporate Hatch green chile into our diet in more healthy ways, I seized upon the idea of using the salmon with green chile to make a salmon cake or patty.
Our first attempt was delicious, but I do like to refine a recipe before I publish it. We have now enjoyed this dish 4 times.
After serving this dish a second time, and shooting the photos, I became engaged in an all out technology assault. I contracted a virus on my laptop, transferred it to my camera, lost all my photos, sent the camera to Samsung for service, and contracted a virus on my desktop computer.
After getting both computers cleaned up, I was intent on publishing this post, so back to the market I went. I bought more salmon, grilled more salmon (with my husband's help), and made and served the dish twice - again. Whew! I am grateful for a supportive husband that willingly eats the same dish multiple nights in a row. 😉
📋 Ingredients You'll Need
Here is a quick look at the ingredients in the recipe – it’s handy to use at the grocery store or as a summary of what you need. Skip to the recipe for quantities.
- cooked salmon
- sweet potato
- roasted and chopped green chile
- red bell pepper
- ground cumin
- smoked paprika
- ground pepper
- olive oil
- Cooking spray
- plain nonfat yogurt
- extra virgin olive oil
- Make the avocado crema - Combine yogurt, olive oil, cilantro, avocado, and lime juice in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Add several grinds of course salt (or about ¼ tsp. fine sea salt) and a couple of grinds of pepper. Taste for seasoning.
- Note - If crema is too thick, add a bit more lime juice and/or olive oil. Set aside.
- Prepare the salmon cakes - Mix ingredients salmon through pepper in a large bowl, using a rubber spatula or your hands to combine well.
- Form the salmon cakes - Shape mixture into 4 balls. Roll carefully in cornmeal to coat.
- Cook the salmon cakes - Heat a bit of oil in a heavy saute pan. I spray the pan with cooking spray, and swirl the oil around to coat the entire pan. On medium heat, place formed salmon balls into the pan. Allow them to cook for 3-4 minutes. Press gently to slightly flatten them. When the cakes are golden brown, gently turn them. Cook an additional 3-4 minutes until golden brown on both sides.
- Top salmon cakes with a spoon of avocado crema, and garnish with a bit of chopped cilantro, crumbled cotija, and/or lime wedges as desired.
- Small plates make portions look larger 🙂
- The amounts listed for salmon cakes will probably yield 4 or 5 salmon cakes, and 1 is plenty for both my husband and me. That will cut the calories substantially.
- Both the salmon cakes and the avocado crema are good for lunch the next day! For more on keeping fish see How Long Does Fish Stay Good?
- If you with to substitute canned salmon, pick through it carefully for bones, cartilage, etc.
- This dish really doesn't need to be served hot (or even warm.) We enjoyed it at room temperature.
- My red bell pepper was not in good shape on photo day, but I always add finely chopped bell pepper.
- Can I use other fish? YES! Try it with any flaky, cooked fish.
- Can I use other green chile? If you can't get Hatch green chile, substitute roasted and chopped poblano or Anaheim green chile.
🍷 Pairing Suggestions
On photo day, I charred some corn, and added in baby lima beans. It was a really nice pairing. I would also suggest a Mexican green bean salad, or a Mexican panzanella salad. My original photo included a corn, Hatch chile, and black bean salad. Are you adventurous? You might like these Hatch green chile salmon cakes with my nopalitos salad!
Our summer "go to" wine with Mexican flavors is a crisp rosé. This was a French style rosé with a distinct hint of grapefruit that works really well with fish cakes.
Are you ready to give these delicious and healthy Hatch chile salmon cakes a try? I'm writing this in August 2020, and Hatch chiles are in season!