Salmon Cakes with Yogurt Mustard Dill Sauce

salmon cake platter

I’m gonna go on a limb here and guess that canned salmon is probably not most peoples first choice of ingredients, but when it comes to cooking aboard making meals from shelf stable canned foods is unavoidable at times and when done well, is an admirable quality of a good galley-slave. This is one of my time-tested goto canned meal recipes.

  • Can of Salmon
  • Onion
  • Red pepper
  • Garlic
  • 8-9 Saltine crackers or bread crumbs
  • 1 Egg
  • Tbsp of Chef Paul’s Magic Salmon Seasoning or seasoning of your choice
    (“sugar, salt, spices, granulated onion & garlic, mustard seed, paprika”)
  • 1 tsp dill

Open and drain well the liquid from can of salmon and place in a mixing bowl. As you gently flake apart the meat into large chunks, remove any bones and fatty skin you find.

salmon cake mixture

Finely mince 1/4 of a large onion, 1/4 of a large pepper, 2 cloves of garlic and add to salmon. Crack an egg into the mixture. Crumble a few crackers at a time in your hand over the bowl till they break into fine bread like crumbs and add your seasoning.


Roll up your sleeves and gently mix together with you hands being careful not to over mix the salmon chunks. You’ll want the mixture moist enough to hold together into patties without crumbling apart. Add more breadcrumbs or egg if necessary. Shape into palm size patties and refrigerate till ready to cook. I found from making crab cakes that cakes tend to hold together better when allowed to refrigerate before cooking.

fried salmon cakes

Add enough olive oil to your frying pan to partially submerge the cakes, I used a small frying pan so it took a bit less oil to coat the pan and a smaller pan heats quicker. You’ll want the pan and oil nice and hot when you drop the patties in, be careful of oil splatter. Watch for the bottoms to brown before flipping, a good 5 minutes or more per side. When fully browned on both sides, place on a plate with some paper towels to absorb any excess oil. Add more oil to pan as needed to finish browning all your patties.

yogurt, mustard, lime and dill sauce

I made a cool dill yogurt dipping sauce that really complimented the flavors and crispy texture of the salmon cakes nicely.

Yogurt Dill Sauce

  • 2 heaping spoonfuls of plain yogurt
  • 1-2 Tbsp of stone ground horseradish mustard
  • 1-2 tsp of dill
  • Juice of a lime wedge

Salmon burgers

To offset the heaviness of the frying, it was lighted up with a fresh green salad of baby spinach, mini heirloom tomatoes, chopped basil and fresh mozzarella cubes.


Pressure Cooked Pot Roast

pot roast ingredients This is my winter boat version of your Roasted Root Veggies.  Growing up in an Irish family, meat and potatoes were the steady mainstay of our meals. One of the most memorable versions of this was my Mom’s  pot roast with potatoes, carrots and onions. Often she made it in the slow cooker, filling the crock pot the night before, so in the morning with only a flip of a switch dinner was started. Other times she would use a pressure cooker with a heavy weighted top on the lid. Going in the kitchen while she pressure cooked was always an intense experience. Her nervously yelling to “STAND BACK!!! IT COULD BLOW!!!” as she raised the weight off the lid and a plume of steam came venting out. This may be why I was first hesitant to learn pressure cooking, but now that I have – I love it! It’s perfect for boat cooking, because of its fast cooking time that still tastes slow cooked, it doesn’t need to plug-in, it uses less fuel and the lid locks so even at sea, it can’t spill, burn you and otherwise make a mess.

before and after cooking

Before and after cooking.

Almost nothing could be easier. Simple food, with simple and versatile ingredients. I put a 3 LB Rump Round Roast in the bottom of my pressure cooker venting tray (a little lid with vents on the bottom of the pressure cooker pot). Salt & Pepper meat.

IMPORTANT STEP: You have to add liquid to the pot to create the steam that does the pressure cooking. Add enough liquid to come up just under the vent lid (1 – 2 cups). You can use any liquid you want, but in this stew I used Tawny Port Red Wine, a  sweet dessert wine I got as a gift from work. It made an amazing gravy with it’s complex flavors.

Dice up your veggies to a uniform size. I used hearty root vegetables that hold up well to the cooking time: Onion, Carrot, Parsnip, Sweet Potato, Red Potatoes, Celery (I forgot Garlic). Fill up the pot with as much as space will allow. I threw in dried Rosemary I have left over from the miniature herb cone that was my Christmas tree this year.


To cook I turn the flame up to Med-High till the weight on the lid begins to dance around, then turn it down to Med-Low for 20 min. After 20 minutes I turn the flame off, but it continues to cook until the pressure comes down enough to unlock the lid, another 20-30 minutes.

I scooped out the veggies, and put the meat on a carving board. In a cup I mixed 2 Tbsp of Cornstarch with water till it blended smooth. Turn the heat back on the remaining juices and bring to a simmer. Slowly stir in the cornstarch mixture, constantly stirring the gravy for 5 min. You’ll notice it change consistency and color, thickening up when it is ready.


Filled up a big bowl with meat, veggies and gravy and serve with a crusty warm bread for sopping it all up. A spoonful of horseradish is an excellent complimentary condiment. We warm our’s on the fireplace. Hearty and plenty of left overs.

Tom Kha Gai – Thai Coconut Soup

It’s soup season again. I’m hoping to perfect making large pots of warming soups and stews with crusty homemade breads from scratch in the months ahead as it turns colder. I’m quite proud of this Thai soup I made last night that tasted authentic to my memory of savoring it at an excellent Baltimore Thai restaurant.

I got the idea to make this while shopping an Asian/International grocery store. I find these markets to have so much greater a variety of produce at reasonable prices. I get excited and dumbfounded by all the exotic and unfamiliar foods I have yet to try here.


It was the lemongrass stalks that grabbed me with their fragrance. I’ve bought them for juicing before but had never actually cooked with them. They are very fibrous and stringy and can be eaten if sliced up very thinly and cooked down, but really it’s preferable to chop them into large chunks, bend/crush them slightly (like a clove of garlic) to let them release their flavor, then remove them before serving.

thai coconut soup


1 box of chicken broth (4 cups)
2 cans of coconut milk
1″ of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 stalks of lemon grass, chopped in 2 inch pieces
Juice of 2 limes (1/4 cup)
3 Tbsp fish sauce
1 Tbsp Agave syrup
1 small green Thai pepper, deseeded and finely diced
Dashes of Tobasco green pepper sauce (used as a substitute for Chili Garlic sauce)
2 thin chicken breasts sliced into pieces
1 lb. of shrimp
handful of mushrooms, sliced
1 vine ripened tomato diced
chopped cilantro for garnish

  • Pour chicken broth into a sauce pot over medium high heat an bringing to a simmer.
  • Grate in a 1″ piece of peeled ginger into the pot.
  • Cut the lemongrass stalks into 2″ pieces and bend it slightly to unlock the flavor. If you have a tea diffuser ball or herb sachet you could let it brew in the broth and remove it when ready to serve, as it’s not pleasant to eat unless chopped very finely and boiled down.
  • Stir in fish sauce, lime juice, pepper/tobasco and agave to broth. Simmer at a low boil for about 5 minutes. The ingredients in this soup don’t need to cook long. Much of the cook time is to marry the flavors of the broth.
  • Add the remaining ingredients.. chicken, mushrooms, shrimp, tomato allowing meat to cook, another 5 minutes.
  • Remove lemongrass stalks from soup, ladle into bowls and top with chopped cilantro.

Maryland Crab Soup

Hey Lori, it’s so fantastic to get back to posting again and see all the wonderful things you are making from the ripening late summer garden. As Summer turns to Fall here on the Bay, the wind is getting brisker and the air cooler. For me it is the most beautiful time of year and some of the best sailing before the long dusk of winter. The summer season has once again passed too quickly and now begins the final march of preparations for snow bird cruisers heading their boats south. As you know the question always on my mind is, am I ready to be one of them this year?.. as I check my never-ending to-do list of projects to complete. For those not yet ready to leave the ties to land, it’s the last sound of the siren calling, get out there now while you can!

Working on projects has occupied much of the summer this year, but this year I’ve had the pleasure of doing it while anchored in a beautiful creek away from the hustle and bustle of the city. It’s gratifying to see progress but meanwhile the hull was turning into a garden patch of barnacles. So last week, with my birthday approaching, I was adamant the boat at the least go on a long weekend trip to celebrate. I spent the week prior diving  the boat with a snorkel and flippers scraping away at the underwater growth and stocking the boat with food and drinks. I thought a nice big pot of soup made in advance would make for an easy and comforting meal to grab bowlfuls of,  so I attempted a Maryland classic, MD Crab soup. It’s really quite easy to make.

MD Crab Soup

MD Crab Soup

  • Sautee 1 diced onion & stalk of celery in a big oil coated pot
  • Add 2 cans of 14 oz. diced tomatoes (mine were mixed with jalapeno peppers)
  • 1 box of beef broth
  • Add a ham hock
  • Worcestershire sauce (1-2 TBSP)
  • Old Bay to taste (1-2 TBSP)

Let this simmer at a low boil while the flavors merge. As it gets closer to being ready to eat add:

  • 1 bag of frozen mixed veggies (corn, carrots, green beans, peas)
  • *many recipes call for a can of lima beans which I didn’t have but think would make a nice addition
  • 1 lb. of canned crab meat
  • V8 / Clamato juice / Water to your desired consistency

My soup was pretty concentrated and hearty with vegetables more like a stew, but it could be stretched a lot farther by adding more liquid.

Newly weds parading the anchorage

Newly weds parading the anchorage

The view from one of my favorite anchorages.

The view from one of my favorite anchorages. The water was clear but the jellyfish were out.

wind scoop

Funneling the wind into the boat at anchor with my colorful windscoop.