One of the picture perfect entrees I made for the Doomsday Preppers filming were salmon cakes made from shelf-stable foods. Unfortunately though, they were adequate at best…definitely missing something. Thanks to wonderful friends who didn’t see fit to make it known on national TV that the salmon cakes were probably not as enjoyable as the rest of the food. As a result I decided that I was going to find the PERFECT salmon cake recipe. So I began to scour my umpteen hundreds of recipes in books, files, and on the internet. I finally came up with this concoction and I’m satisfied that they are simply DEE-LUSH-OUS! I hope you like them too. A good herb garden going year round in your kitchen will always make a big difference between mediocre and memorable dishes. This is one of those examples, but if you don’t have fresh basil, you can use the freeze-dried brand that you can find in the produce section of most grocery stores.

Basil Mayonnaise


1 cup packed basil leaves
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/2 small clove garlic, crushed and chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup peanut oil


In a food processor or blender, combine basil, olive oil and a pinch of salt, and puree until smooth. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolk, mustard, vinegar and garlic with a little salt and pepper. Whisk in the peanut oil, beginning a drop at a time. Whisk vigorously after each addition of oil, until mixture thickens and emulsifies. As the mayonnaise thickens, you can add the oil faster, in a thin, steady stream.
Whisk in basil mixture until smooth and homogenous. Adjust seasoning. Keep cold.
For BEST results when making your own mayonnaise, employ this great technique that I discovered this year while reading the recipes in The New York Times: You’ll never go back to regular mayonnaise again and it will turn out perfectly every time!
Now that you’ve made your own scrumptious mayonnaise, you’re ready to make memorable Salmon Cakes
1 lb of canned salmon, drained, reserve the liquid
2 T. of lemon (fresh is best, but of course it’s likely you won’t always have fresh)
3-4 tablespoons of orange juice (Yes, you can use a powdered orange juice for this and get a nice flavor still)
2/3 cup of buttery cracker crumbs
1 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons of homemade basil mayonnaise
1 teaspoon dry mustard
2 stalks of finely diced celery
1/2 cup of finely chopped onion
1/4 cup of grated Parmesan Cheese
3 tablespoons of oil for frying
  1. Drain the salmon, reserving 3/4 cup of the liquid. Flake the meat and double check to make sure no bone pieces are present.
  2. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium- high heat. Add onion and celery and cook until tender.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the onions and celery, lemon and orange juice, 1/3 of the cracker crumbs, egg, mayonnaise, mustard and salmon.
  4. Mix until well blended, then shape into six cakes. If your mixture isn’t forming sufficient cakes, then add a teaspoon at a time of the remaining liquid from the canned salmon.
  5. Combine the remaining cracker crumbs with the Parmesan cheese. Coat patties in the mixture of crumbs and cheese.
  6. Heat cooking oil of choice in a large skillet over medium heat.
  7. Cook patties until browned, then carefully turn and brown on the other side.
Now you’ve got a dish fit for entertaining others, and to think that it all comes from ingredients you can get out of your pantry.


cindy baugh · September 1, 2012 at 4:36 am

Kellene, my husband LOVES salmon cakes. Me? Bleh…But because he likes them so much I have lots of canned salmon stored and fix it regurlary for him. I can usually manage to eat one. But I am intrigued by your recipe and will try it. Maybe it will be the one that makes me a convert.

    Kellene Bishop · September 1, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    I sure hope so, Cindy. 🙂

Carrie · September 1, 2012 at 2:11 pm

I know salmon is good for you but I just don’t like the taste of it. Would this recipe work just as well with tuna instead? It sounds like a great recipe!

    Kellene Bishop · September 1, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    I think it would work well with tuna or tilapia actually.

Deborah · September 1, 2012 at 5:10 pm

Sounds really good and I will be trying it soon. Thank you for the recipe.

La-Shawn Jennings · September 4, 2012 at 10:29 am

Please put out a preppers cookbook. I seen what you did on TV and loved everything. Thanks for all you advice and training.

    Kellene Bishop · September 4, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    It’s in the works indeed. It’s already under contract and I’ve been working on it all hours of the day form some time now. 🙂

Rachel H. · September 13, 2012 at 4:56 pm

Wait a minute – is this the lady on Doomsday Preppers? The “foodie” who oiled the eggs!! OMG Lady, I just oiled my first 2 cartons of eggs because of you, like 10 minutes ago! I just had my cheese wax come in yesterday!! I’m SOOO happy you’re running this blog; I’ll be on here daily until the internet is shut down. I first watched your episode about 2 weeks ago, and again watched it last night. I have thought SO many times since I first saw you that how I wished I could call you up and ask you questions about specific things. I’m so happy you’re doing this!!!!

    Kellene Bishop · September 13, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    Yup, that’s me. Welcome to the looney bin… 🙂

Rachel H. · September 13, 2012 at 6:17 pm

I’m new, so I don’t know if you’ve already done this recipe, but would you consider putting up a recipe for shelf-stable chicken Alfredo? I have quite a bit of the noodles, canned chicken and the canned Alfredo sauce needed for the basic recipe, but I’m more of a baker and don’t really know what else to add, or how to really put it together to make it delicious. Just a suggestion! Thanks!

BW · September 29, 2012 at 3:17 pm

Kellene- you rock. Just sayin’. Thanks for making this preparedness biz approachable and fantastic. I’m going to try these tonight. And I can’t WAIT for the cookbook!

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