So, mostly everyone knows that the most important thing in my life (other than Mr. Grumpy) is the Backstreet Boys. Duh. This has been going on for quite some time – if you recall a former post in which I alerted you to this character flaw amazing part of me (Remember me, BSB? That girl who chased down your tour bus? Did I come on too strong??)
Naturally then, when the BSB came to Cleveland to perform right across the river from my apartment at Nautica Pavilion, you best believe I was there, sitting on the grass, with my best friend Ashley who loves the BSB almost as much as me, with a beer in my travel mug. Hell. yeah.
Many years ago, Suzie Q and DS used to camp out for several hours so we could get FRONT ROW tickets to the BSB. Of course, since then, they’ve taken me off Steiner Family Life Support (aka, DS cut up my credit card), and therefore instead of enjoying the BSB from inside the Pavilion, I must sit out on the grass singing at the top of my lungs (need I mention the beer in the travel mug again?) like a crazy homeless person. It’s fine though. I’m a pretty good singer, and also know all the words to every single one of the Backstreet Boy’s albums, so I don’t think I was too concerned about what people may think. Also, Ashley was NOT embarrassed when I asked her to arrive at my apartment three hours in advance of the BSB performing, and when I answered the door with 20 boneless buffalo wings wearing a Backstreet Boys t-shirt, telling her to hurry up and eat – it was time. See the excitement on our faces? I will never throw this BSB t-shirt away. Never. No matter what happens.
Now, where was Mr. Grumpy you ask? Well let me ask you a question. Knowing Mr G the way you do – where do you think he was? Out on the grass sharing in this irreplaceable moment with Ashley and I? Nope! Hiding in our apartment where he was disappointed to learn he could STILL HEAR THEM even after turning up the volume on his Nintendo all the way? Bingo. Needless to say, he was not pleased when we came home, empty travel mugs in hand, to sing him all the songs the BSB sang (I’m pretty sure AJ waved at me… yes, from across the river. I realize how irrational this sounds. Just go with it).
To make matters worse, I had yet to tell Mr. Grumpy that coming up on our menu for dinner this week would be the dreaded SALMON. Which he thinks is way too healthy for him. And to make things even WORSER (right, it’s not a word), there would be no cheese in this dinner. So, I wanted to surprise Mr. Grumpy and make up for the seranading and salmoning by getting him a special present to distract him while we ate dinner.
I had received a gift card to use at Nautica Pavilion since I’m such a loyal customer (this is the girl who sits across the river for free, so I’m not sure why they think I’m loyal?). So right before I left work, I checked to see what shows were up and if any, by the grace of God, were ones that Mr. G would like. And lo-and-behold – there they were. The Red Hot Chili Peppers. Mr. Grumpy’s all time FAVORITE band.
I immediately started signing up for tickets.
Now, let me warn you, readers. If you ever purchase tickets for a show online – you better check the name of the band. And then DOUBLE-CHECK IT. And then, make sure that you copy and paste it’s title into Google to triple-check it.
Why? Well, because if you do not, you’ll end up with General Admission tickets to see these guys:
(Photo courtesy of Allareas.de)
That’s right, folks. The Red Hot Chilli Pipers. Coming to Cleveland on August 20. Better get ‘yer bagpipe-listening ears ready (this is code word for ear plugs). Because … and this is according to their website … they apparently … um. Rock.
So, I went home – empty handed, ready to cook Mr. Grumpy his dinner – Salmon Patties with Cucumber-Dill Sauce. And boy were these bad boys delicious. When Mr. G. took his very first bite, his eyes got wide from shock that he could like something A) without cheese and B) from the sea. It. Happened. And it can happen to you. I adapted this recipe from Coastal Living magazine, which posted its 25 favorite salmon recipes, one of them being a Salmon Burger recipe.
Here’s What You’ll Need:
- 1 1/4 lb fresh, boneless Alaskan salmon with the skin cut off (your seafood butcher … seafood butcher? you know what I mean… can help you with this. It’s about two pieces slightly larger than the size of your hand. Unless you have Princess Cinderella hands. Then it’s about four slices the size of princess hands…)
- 1/8 cup red onion, diced
- 1/8 cup red pepper, diced
- 1 tbsp Spanish olives, diced
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup fat-free, plain Greek yogurt, plus an extra 1/2 cup
- 4 slices of light Pepperidge Farm oatmeal bread
- 1 large egg
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 1/2 tbsp cucumber, diced
- 2 tsp fresh dill, diced and divided
- 1 tsp Lemon Pepper McCormick’s Seasoning (seriously, why haven’t you bought this yet?!)
- 1/2 tsp salt, divided
- 4 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 5 Hawaiian bread rolls (we buy Sister Schubert’s. It’s frozen and then you heat it up in the oven)
- Toppings for your Salmon sandwiches: cucumber slices, tomato slices, red onion, lettuce
First, chop all your ingredients. Then, cut your salmon into small slices – about 1 inch wide in cubes. Place that in a food processor. Then, add the red onion, red pepper, olives, Dijon, bread and garlic into the food processor. Combine the ingredients on low in your food processor until the salmon chunks have turned into what I really don’t want to call it – a pasty-like mixture. Basically, it would look like ground chicken looks almost. You can leave some chunks of salmon, but for the most part, it should be pretty smooth. Then, slide the mixture into a mixing bowl, and add 1 tsp of dill, 1/4 cup of Greek yogurt, Lemon Pepper McCormick’s seasoning, 1/4 tsp salt, and the egg. Stir gently until the egg is combined in with the rest of the ingredients. Form small patties with the mixture, slightly larger than the size of your hand. This will make about five patties.
Then, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil on a grilly skillet (seriously, still don’t know what the BEEP this thing is called. It’s that pan with the grill marks on it… you know??) over medium heat. Don’t overheat the skillet because your salmon patties will burn on the outside before cooking all the way through. Add the first three patties to the pan, and cook for three minutes, until the outer layer is nice and crispy and it starts to look white-ish on the sides. Flip, and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from the pan and place on a paper towel. Heat the remaining olive oil. Add the remaining patties, and repeat the steps I just told you.
In the meantime … (aka, make Mr. G do this), combine the remaining Greek yogurt and dill, along with the diced cucumber and the remaining salt.
We turned our into sandwiches, which was a definite treat. But if you’re trying to avoid bready carbs, you could just eat the patty with a dollop of the sauce. If you’re training for a half-marathon and could USE the carbs…. then do this:
Put together your salmon sammies by placing the patty on the bun, adding a dollop of your Cucumber-Dill sauce, and toppings of your choice. And watch the magic happen on your Mr. Grumpy’s face. I seriously was shocked he liked these.
Ok, I was actually shocked I liked these because I’m pretty hot and cold when it comes to seafood – especially fish that’s not crabby legs (my all-time favorite thing ever. Maybe because I like to WORK for my food…). But, they are so tasty. And such a great, healthy way to enjoy a burger-like dinner without the calories. The patties also make for great lunch leftovers the next day on a bed of lettuce greens! (Just don’t microwave it – it’s bad coworker etiquette).
Plus, I’m pretty sure they said at some point that salmon makes you smarter, which is never a bad thing, right? Right. So, enjoy friends! And wish us luck while the Red Hot Chilli Pipers are in town!
PS: What are other burger alternatives to save yourself from the calories? Tell me!! Tell me now!!!
PPS: Although Mr. Grumpy DID like my dinner, he also disappeared for a few minutes and came back from the Market downstairs with an ENTIRE BOX of sour gummy worms. Well, at least I tried!