Call is slowly killing me. This post-call delirium usually lasts for at least the next two days after a call shift, and then just when I’m starting to feel human again, I’m on call again in another couple days.
For anyone who hasn’t been on call before, basically you spend 24-26 hours in the hospital, working…continuously. Every once in awhile you luck out and get a couple hours sleep here and there. With my luck, I get paged every half an hour to an hour all night long. The post-call feeling is a hard one to fully describe if you haven’t experienced it before. You feel partially hungover, like a night of hard binge-drinking…except without the binge-drinking fun. Nauseated, sick to your stomach, dehydrated…you also start to feel a little delirious. Sometimes walking home post-call, I actually stumble and trip a few times and people look at me judgingly for being drunk at 9:30AM. It’s one part of medicine that I’d rather be without.
The only perk to being sleep deprived, exhausted, and feeling terrible for a night is that you get a glorious post-call day of no-work. And because of the aforementioned delirium, usually any kind of productive work (like studying or extra reading) goes out the window because I can’t even focus on one spot for long enough before I drift off into space. So instead I spend my post-call days shopping, cleaning, and cooking.
These salmon cakes were a product of a post-call day. They are DELICIOUS!!! While they’re a little messy and involved, they take a surprisingly small amount of time to make. Do it on YOUR next post-call day. You won’t regret it.
Curry Salmon Cakes (From my Food Network cookbook – Great Easy Meals)
1 pound skinless salmon fillet, halved crosswise (I used 1.5 fillets and it made 5 cakes)
2 tsp curry powder (preferably hot)
salt and peper
8 tablespoons store-bought tartar sauce
1/4 cup cracker meal/crushed saltines plus more for sprinkling
2 tablespoons grated peeled ginger (I just used ground ginger instead)
1 bunch scallions, finely chopped
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Mango salsa – I didn’t make this, but you can if you want!
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1 mango, peeled, pitted, and diced
juice of 1 lime
1. Combine the salmon, 1 tablespoon water, 1 1/2 tsp curry powder, 1/2 tsp salt and pepper to taste in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave until the fish is opaque (2-3 min). Flake with a fork and cool slightly. Stir in 1 tablespoon tartar sauce, the cracker meal, ginger, and half of the scallions and the egg. Form into 5 patties and freeze until firm, about 10 mins.
2. Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 7 tablespoons tartar sauce and 1/2 tsp curry powder in a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix 1 tbsp of curried tartar sauce with bell pepper, celery, mango, scallions, and lime juice.
3. Heat 1/4 inch of vegetable oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle the patties with cracker meal on both sides and fry until golden, 2-3 min per side. Drain on paper towels, serve with mango salad and curried tartar sauce. Be careful flipping them, they can be quite fragile!
You can also turn these salmon cakes into burgers by serving them on crusty rolls with tartar sauce as a topping!