Friday, July 22, 2011

Salmon Burgers, Purple Flatbreads, and Lemon Mayo

This post is not only brought to you by my friends at Whole Foods, but it's also brought to you by the letter "W." As in, "what on earth was I thinking?"

You see, the idea for this week's post started with purple corn flour. I saw that, and I immediately thought that cornbread or corn muffins would be awesome in purple. And then I thought that maybe I'd pick up some kind of fish to go with the cornbread. So I bought crab cakes.

It all sounded like such a good idea until I got to the corn muffins. Or rather, I decided to make biscuits. Let me tell ya, if granite and denim had a child, it would have looked a lot like those biscuits. If you closed your eyes, they tasted okay. But the color wasn't good - a mottled dark blue. And it looked worse in photos, if you can believe that.

Out of the oven, they're puffy.
And then I tried cornbread. I figured that less corn flour and a healthy dose of regular cornmeal along with some corn cut off the cob would mitigate the blueness. Riiiight. It looked like dark rock embedded with yellow teeth.

But still, I was determined to do something with the purple corn flour. It was so pretty. 

I started thinking about blue baked goods, and the one think I kept going back to was blue corn chips ... and blue corn tortillas. Those are pretty common these days, but I didn't want to make corn tortillas. But the more I thought about it, the more the idea of blue flatbreads made sense.

And here's the odd thing. The flatbreads were actually purple instead of blue like the biscuits and cornbread. The only thing I can figure is that it has something to do with pH levels. The biscuits and cornbread were leavened with baking powder. The flatbreads used yeast.

But I'm not unhappy about the purpleness. When you think about it, there are a lot more purple foods than blue ones. At least, that's what I'm saying today.

The nice thing about this meal is that you can make the flatbreads the night before, when it's cool in the evening, or you can make them on the grill, if you prefer.

The lemon mayonnaise I used was homemade, but you could simply add some fresh lemon juice to commercial mayonnaise if you prefer. Making it yourself only takes a minute or two in the blender, but you can make it in advance, if you prefer.

And the salmon burgers ... remember how I said I was going to make crab cakes? Well, those were tasty for sure, but when I started thinking about my blue flatbreads, I decided that the bright orange of salmon would make a much more interesting contrast. So I bought salmon burgers.

And then I topped the salmon burgers with some thinly sliced bell peppers (red, yellow and green) and then drizzled the mayo on top. The colors were stunning. Finally.

Grilled Salmon Burgers, Blue Flatbreads, and Lemony Mayo

Blue Flatbreads
2 1/2 cups (11 1/4 ounces) bread flour
1/2 cup blue corn flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 tablespoon olive oil (plus more for drizzling)
1 cup cold water

Place all the dry ingredients in your food processor fitten with the dough blade. Pulse a few times to combine the ingredients. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil. With the food processor running, add the water as fast as the flour can absorb it.

Continue processing until the dough forms a ball, and then another 30 seconds. The dough should be smooth and elastic. If it isn't continue processing in 30-second intervals until it is smooth and elastic, letting it rest in between so it doesn't get too warm.

Take the dough out of the processor and form it into a ball. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil to coat the ball, the put it in a clean bowl. Cover the ball with plastic wrap and set aside to rise for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 450 degrees. If you have a baking stone, preheat that in the oven. Otherwise, you can put a baking sheet in the oven (upside-down, so you won't have the edges interfering). Or, if you prefer, you can bake these on your grill - directly on the grates, or on a cast iron griddle.

One more photo. I think they're cool looking!
After 20 minutes, flour your work surface and turn out the dough. Knead it briefly, then divide into 4 pieces. Divide each of those in 4, so you have 16 equal pieces. Form each piece into a ball, then flatten the ball and roll it to a circle about 5 inches in diameter.

Bake each flatbread for 2 minutes. You can bake them in groups, if your baking stone is large enough to hold several at a time.

When the flatbreads are done baking, remove them from the oven and put them on a rack, stacking them on top of each other. Cover with a clean kitchen towel. The flatbreads will probably puff up like balloons as they bake. Flatten them gently (and carefully, since they're full of very hot steam) as you stack them.

Note: If you leave the flatbreads in the oven too long, they’ll get crisp and then you’ll have puffy purple cracker balloons. Which is amusing, but not exactly what we’re looking for in this dish.

Continue rolling and baking until all 16 are done.

Lemony Mayo
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup mild-flavored oil

Put the egg yolk in your blender and blend until they are light and thick. Add the salt and lemon juice and blend until they are mixed in. With the blender running, add the oil very slowly until your mayonnaise is as thick as you like it (more oil will make it thicker - if you prefer it thicker, add more, as desired.)

Transfer the mayonnaise to a storage container and refrigerate until needed.

For the complete dish:

Salmon burgers (one per person should be enough)
Red, yellow, and green peppers for garnish
Lemon mayonnaise

Cook the salmon burgers on the grill or in a lightly-oiled pan until it reaches 150 degrees in the center. Meanwhile, slice thin pieces of the peppers, as needed, for garnish.

If you prefer cooked peppers, that's fine - I liked them them raw, for a little crunch.

Serve the salmon burgers on top of the flatbreads. Garnish with the peppers and drizzle with the mayonnaise. Pass extra mayonnaise at the table.

Whole Foods Friday is what I'm calling my new partnership with the local Whole Foods stores in Boulder County. Whole Foods lets me shop for what I need for any recipe I want to make, and I post the results here. Whole Foods also posts my recipes on their Boulder blog. It's a fun project.

This has been submitted to Yeastspotting.


Kim said...

I am imagining the texture of a pita bread, does the corn flour change that? Love the purple color!

Donna Currie said...

Yup, it was the texture of pita. The flour is a fairly find grind, so it's not like adding cornmeal. You can see speckles of color, but it's not a rough texture.

Mark said...

Great work. I love the colors. I could make a painting out of these.

Jess @ littlegirlbigappetite said...

Love the colors :)

Sea Cuisine said...

We will definitely have to try this recipe out tonight! We do believe that breaded frozen salmon fillets could be used to create the salmon burgers. Just a quick thaw and a couple of eggs and viola! Thanks for sharing!

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