Salmon Cakes

1 1/2 teaspoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons finely diced onion
2 tablespoons finely dicd red bell pepper
1 garlic clove
1 1/4 pounds cooked wild sockeye salmon, chopped into small pieces
1/4 cup mayonnaise
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning, or to taste
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 1/2 cups panko crumbs
1 large egg
Canola oil

Position two oven racks in the lower and upper thirds of the oven and preheat the oven 350 degrees F.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the onion and pepper.  Grate the garlic with a Microplane grater directly into the pan (or mince it and add it).  Cook, stirring often, until the onion and pepper are tender, about 5 minutesw.  Remove from the heat and let cool completely.

In a large bowl, whisk the mayonnaise with the Worcestershire, mustard, parsley, Old Bay, salt, and lemon juice to combine well.  Stir in 1/2 cup of the panko crumbs and the onion mixture.  Gently fold in the cooked salmon.

Put the remaining 2 cups panko crumbs in a shallow bowl.  Divide the salmon mixture into 12 equal portions.  One portion at a time, gently shape the mixture into a ball (the mixture is very delicate because there is only a small amount of panko in it), roll gently in the panko to coat, and shape into a slightly flattened ball about 2 inches in diameter and 1 inch thick.  Add a bit more panko as needed to coat, and set on a plate.

Heat some canola oil in each of two large ovenproof frying pans over medium heat until it shimmers.  (If you don't have two pans, cook the cakes in batches and transfer to a rack set over a baking sheet, then finish in the oven.)  Add the cakes, pat down gently, still maintaining the rounded shape, and cook until golden brown on the first side, about 5 minutes.  With a spatula, gently turn each salmon cake over and cook on the second side for another 5 minutes, or until golden brown.  Transfer the pans to the oven and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, to ensure that the salmon cakes are hot throughout.

Line a small baking sheet with paper towels.  Transfer the salmon cakes to the towels to briefly drain.  Arrange the salmon cakes on a serving platter and serve with remoulade or your favorite sauce.
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