Salmon Croquettes with Creole Aïoli-NYT Food


A homemade Creole spice blend adds a piquant kick to these salmon croquettes, which are crispy on the outside and tender and flaky on the inside. Refrigerating the patties until they’re firm before dredging and cooking helps them keep their shape. If you’d like, you can swap in an equal amount of leftover cooked salmon for the fresh fillets to save time. The Creole Aïoli — starring finely chopped cornichons and their brine, Creole mustard, and a hint of sugar — is an irresistible combination of creamy, crunchy, and salty, and an ideal match for the croquettes.

Creole Salmon Croquettes
Active Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
70 mins


  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

  • ½ teaspoon onion powder

  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

  • 2 (5-ounce) skinless salmon fillets

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

  •  cup finely chopped celery (from 2 medium [3 ounces total] celery stalks)

  • 2 medium scallions, thinly sliced (white and light green parts reserved separately from dark green parts)

  • 14 round buttery crackers (from 1 [1 3/4-ounce] sleeve) (such as Ritz), crushed

  • ½ cup, plus 3 tablespoons mayonnaise, divided

  • 1 tablespoon, plus 2 teaspoons Creole mustard, divided

  • 3 cornichons, finely chopped, plus 1 teaspoon brine from jar

  • ¼ teaspoon granulated sugar

  • ½ cup (about 2 1/8 ounces) all-purpose flour

  • 2 large eggs

  • Lemon wedges


  1. Stir together paprika, garlic powder, black pepper, onion powder, cayenne, oregano, and 1 teaspoon of the salt in a small bowl; set aside.

  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a medium-size nonstick skillet over medium. Add salmon; cook until lightly browned on both sides and sides of salmon are almost completely opaque but some pink remains in middle, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer fillets to a large bowl, and set aside.

  3. Wipe skillet clean. Add 2 tablespoons of the butter to skillet, and melt over medium. Add celery and white and light green scallion parts; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add paprika mixture; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer mixture to salmon in bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of the butter to skillet, and melt over medium. Add crushed crackers; cook, stirring and tossing occasionally, until toasted and dry, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to salmon mixture in bowl. Remove skillet from heat, and wipe clean.

  4. Add 3 tablespoons of the mayonnaise and 1 tablespoon of the mustard to salmon mixture in bowl. Using a fork, stir mixture together, flaking some of the salmon. Continue stirring until salmon has broken down and mixture is chunky but bound. Shape mixture evenly into 4 (2 1/2-inch-wide) patties; place on a large plate. Cover and refrigerate until patties are firm, at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.

  5. Meanwhile, stir together chopped cornichons and brine, sugar, and remaining 1/2 cup mayonnaise and 2 teaspoons mustard in a small bowl; refrigerate until ready to use.

  6. Place flour in a shallow dish; beat eggs in a separate shallow dish. Remove salmon patties from refrigerator, and place in flour; turn to lightly coat. Transfer patties to egg mixture, and turn to coat, letting excess drip back into bowl. Transfer patties back to flour, and turn to fully coat; tap off excess flour. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil and 1 tablespoon butter to cleaned skillet; heat over medium. Add patties; cook until golden brown and crispy on both sides and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer patties evenly to 4 plates or a platter; sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Sprinkle with reserved dark green scallion parts. Serve with pickle-mayonnaise sauce and lemon wedges.


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