Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Salmon Burgers with Spinach and Ginger (Page 291)

RECIPE #1007

  • Date: Wednesday, June 24, 2009 -- 7pm
  • Location: Bloomington, IN
  • Kitchen: My Apartment
  • Dining Companion: Matty
  • Recipe Rating: B+

I completely forgot that I made this recipe until I found the picture of it on my camera, so I am going to backtrack a bit and blog about this one. I started by cutting a piece of salmon into 1/4-inch dice, then stirring it together with chopped spinach, grated ginger, scallions, salt, pepper, egg white, and soy sauce. I formed the mixture into patties, then cooked them in vegetable oil in a skillet. I topped them with pickled ginger and served. This recipe was super quick and pretty tasty. When I formed the patties I thought to myself, "There is no way these are going to stay together." Indeed, they were falling apart as I formed them. But I very carefully set them into the skillet, and very carefully flipped them halfway through the cooking, and they did manage to stay together! These salmon burgers were much better than I expected. They were very flavorful and moist. There was a lot of spinach relative to the amount of salmon, but it worked really well for the dish. The burgers were nice and light -- certainly a healthier alternative to a more traditional burger. I served them with rice and soy sauce, and that seemed to go better with the flavor of the burgers than buns would have. For a simple weekday supper, this was a nice dish.

The recipe is here.

The conference I was attending in Norway last week officially ended on Friday, and most participants left on Saturday morning. For anyone who was interested, though, there was the option of staying an extra day and going for a long hike. When my special gentleman agreed to travel all the way to Norway with me, I had promised that I would attempt this hike with him. My special gentleman and I hike a lot, but this particular hike was certainly more challenging that what we usually do. The hike was essentially straight up, then straight down a mountain. It took about nine hours (5 hours up, a little rest at the top, then 3 and a half hours down). The total elevation change was 1848 meters, which is more than a mile (a mile sounds like not-so-much, but as a change in elevation, it's a lot!). The photo below was taken about halfway up, when we encountered a beautiful lake on the mountain. At this point we were both still feeling pretty good:

The view from halfway up was quite nice. The hotel where we started hiking from is one of those buildings near the water in the valley.

At about 1100 meters, the weather took a nasty turn. It became very cold and very windy. We were certainly not prepared for how cold it would be. As you can see, my special gentleman was hiking through the snow in his shorts. Where it wasn't snowy it was very rocky near the top, which meant that we were climbing more than hiking.

Eventually we reached the top, where we were delighted to find that there was a shelter! Apparently in Norway in very remote places where people like to hike there are often these shelters. The shelter had a wood burning stove and tons of food in it. You could take whatever food you wanted and leave money to pay for it -- honor system style. This shelter also had a second level where people could sleep. And most importantly, it had many, many blankets inside, so we all wrapped ourselves up while we ate lunch and tried to get warm.

The views from the top were spectacular. The pictures don't do it justice, but here are a couple anyway. Here's a picture of me at the top. Standing up there it was hard to believe that we had started all the way down by that lake that you see in the picture.

Here's a shot of me and my special gentleman at the top, trying not to get blown off the mountain. It was windy!

The way down was easier than the way up, although much more painful. Going down very steep terrain is hard on your knees and the muscles in your legs. It also took a lot of concentration climbing down the rocks. I was happy that I made it through the rocks without falling, but then in the last hour of the descent I slipped twice on two steep muddy sections and fell twice on my butt! Whoops!

Overall it was a fun, although challenging day of hiking. The ascent kicked my butt, but when I made it to the top it felt like a real accomplishment! After the hike I sat in the hot tub at the hotel for an hour or so, then ate a huge dinner. It was a nice way to end our Norwegian adventure.

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