By: Lakita Anderson
I cannot remember the exact moment when I fell in love with a cast-iron skillet because it has always been a part of my life. As a child, I vividly remember it always having a special place on top of my grandmother’s stove. She used it to make just about anything from biscuits and cornbread to dinner, dessert, and the best fried chicken.
As a kid growing up in the South, I remember spending much of my time in the kitchen with my grandmother, mom, and aunts. It is the place where I learned how to read a recipe, to measure ingredients properly, and to never, under any circumstances, place a cast-iron skillet in the dishwasher or a sink full of soapy water. Later as an adult, I remember coming home one day to find my beloved cast-iron skillet soaking in a sink full of soapy water, and I swear, I could hear my grandmother screaming from beyond, “NO!” loudly in the back of my head. Mainly, that’s because I knew this little mistake had surely stripped away a good layer or two of seasoning that would take months of use to build back up again.
It is, of course, the seasoning on the cast-iron skillet that makes it so magical. It just makes everything that is cooked in it super flavorful and delicious. It has years and layers of flavor that you cannot get from any other pan. My grandmother certainly knew this, and she is the reason that you can find one in just about all of the kitchens of her children and grandchildren. My mother actually still uses my grandmother’s cast-iron skillet to this very day. Each time we gather for a family meal, it makes an appearance, and I feel as if my grandmother is still present through her skillet and its many years and layers of seasoning.
Even though the family doesn’t get together as much as we used to, when we do, we still love to start our day together with a good breakfast. This usually means my dad making his famous biscuits and gravy or my mom making a family favorite of eggs, fried apples, biscuits, and salmon patties.
Salmon patties, also known as salmon croquettes, are savory patties that are crispy on the outside and meaty and tender on the inside. They are loaded with flavor and simple to make with canned pink salmon plus a few other ingredients that are easily accessible. Eggs and bread crumbs are used to bind the mixture together to form the patties, and the addition of lemon juice is used to intensify the flavor of the salmon. All of these ingredients together make this dish so filling, comforting, and simply delicious.
Find Lakita’s recipe for Salmon Patties here.