Old-fashioned Salmon Croquettes

Salmon Croquettes on Plate

I seldom buy canned salmon, yet when  I recently  flipped through a hundred-year-old cookbook, a recipe for Salmon Croquettes caught my eye, It brought back warm memories of eating various canned salmon dishes when I was a child. Long story short, I bought a can of salmon the next time I went to the store, and soon was making Salmon Coquettes. The crispy croquettes only took a few minutes to make and were a tasty comfort food.

recipe for Salmon Crocuqettes
Source: Cement City Cook Book (1922, compiled by First Baptist Church, Alpena, Michigan)

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Salmon Croquettes

  • Servings: 4 - 6
  • Difficulty: moderate
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1 can salmon (14.75 oz.), flaked

1 tablespoon, butter, melted

2 hard-boiled egg yolks, mashed

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 slice bread, torn into small pieces to make crumbs

1/2 teaspoon anchovy sauce

dashes of salt, pepper, and nutmeg

1 egg, beaten

approximately 3/4 cup cracker crumbs (I put saltine crackers in a Ziplock bag and rolled with a rolling pin to make crumbs.)

lard, shortening, or cooking oil

Put salmon into a mixing bowl. Add melted butter, mashed hard-boiled egg yolks, lemon juice, bread crumbs, anchovy sauce, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Shape into small balls about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. (If the mixture is too juicy to make balls, add additional bread crumbs.)

Put the beaten egg in a bowl. In another bowl put the cracker crumbs. Roll the salmon balls in the egg and then in the cracker crumbs.

Put  lard, shortening, or cooking oil in skillet and heat until hot using medium heat.  (It should be about 1/2 inch deep.) Add salmon balls. When the bottom of the balls have lightly browned (about 1 1/2 – 2 minutes), gently roll to brown the other sides.  Remove from skillet and drain on paper towels, then serve.


Old-fashioned Fish Loaf

Sliced fish loaf on plate

When I saw a recipe in a hundred-year-old cookbook for Fish Loaf, I knew that I needed to give it a try. Now that the holidays are starting to wind down, I’m ready for comfort foods. Maybe most people won’t consider Fish Loaf a comfort food, but for me it fits into that category. I have vague memories of eating (and enjoying) Salmon Loaf many years ago, and I wanted to see if this recipe was similar.

The old recipe called for using any canned fish (or flaked, cooked fresh fish) so there’s lots of flexibility- though I chose to go with salmon.

This recipe was very easy to make – and it tasted just like the Salmon Loaves that I remember from my childhood.

Recipe for Fish Loaf
Source: A New Snowdrift Cook Book (1920)

One teaspoon of salt seemed like a lot to me since the canned salmon that I used already contained some salt, so I when I updated the recipe, I reduced the amount of salt to 1/2 teaspoon.

Snowdrift was an old-time shortening that I don’t think is sold any longer.

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Fish Loaf

  • Servings: 4 - 5
  • Difficulty: moderate
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1 pound can fish or 2 1/2 cups flaked, cooked fresh fish (I used a 14.75 ounce can of Salmon.)

3 eggs

1/2 cup soft bread crumbs (I tore 1 slice of bread into small pieces.)

1 tablespoon melted butter or shortening

1 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 350° F. Separate the eggs. Put the egg whites in a mixing bowl, and beat until stiff. Set aside.

Put the egg yolks in another mixing bowl; beat until smooth. Flake the fish and add to the bowl with the beaten egg yolks.  Add bread crumbs, butter or shortening, salt, pepper, and parsley; stir to combine. Fold in the beaten egg whites. Put in a greased loaf pan, and place in oven and bake until firm (about 40 – 50 minutes). Remove from oven and cut into slices. If desired, serve with peas, cream or white sauce, egg sauce, or tomato sauce.