They're named "Opening Day Salmon Cakes" because they were made with the last of the salmon that Bill and Joe caught on Opening Day of Trout Season in RI.
We had most of the 21" salmon left, and I carefully picked all the flesh off the bones (and picked the smaller bones out of the flesh) and broke it into smallish pieces.
All told, there were about two cups of fish to work with.
We also had leftover wild rice from the previous night, so I mixed that in with the fish. There was about a cup and a half of the rice.
I also used a shallot, the juice of one lemon, and some Ritz crackers (about 8-10) that Julia helpfully smashed up for me with a meat tenderizer. I worked all of that together and then melted about 5 T butter and mixed that in to help moisten the crackers and add a little more flavor. Then I tasted it, added some ground black pepper, and finally, added in two eggs to help bind it all together. I let the mixture sit for about five minutes to let the crackers finish absorbing the liquids, and then I rolled the mixture into balls roughly the size of small lemons (only round).
**If you find that the mixture is too goopy and can't be rolled, add a little more cracker crumbs or bread crumbs. If the mixture is too dry and crumbly, add some more liquid – lemon juice, melted butter, another egg, water – it's up to you.
I rolled the balls in flour and set them aside while I heated about a half inch of vegetable oil in a large pan. When the oil was hot enough (flick some water into the oil – if the oil sizzles immediately, it's ready) I put some of the balls in the pan, leaving plenty of space around them, and pressed them down a bit to form patties (or cakes). After a few minutes, once the undersides were nicely golden brown, I carefully turned the fish cakes over to finish cooking on the other side.
Once they were cooked through, I transferred them to a plate with several layers of paper towel to drain, and kept the plate in the warming drawer of my oven until all the fish cakes had been cooked.
I have to say these were really tasty. The smoky flavor from the grilled salmon and the bite of the minced shallot worked nicely together. The kids ate them dunked in ketchup, or with a dollop of guacamole on top. I also made a little spicy sauce for Bill and I, which consisted of some mayo, lime juice, sriracha, minced basil in olive oil (from my freezer, from last year's garden), salt, and pepper.
The heat from the sriracha, sweetness from the basil, the smokiness of the fish, chewy texture of the rice, and the creamy, mild flavor of the guacamole…
…it was divine.