What is a Balaboosta?
Balaboosta (n.)(bah-lah-b00-sta) A Yiddish term meaning the perfect housewife, homemaker, wonderful mother, cook, and gracious hostess. She does it all and does it well.
I make simple food with easy recipes and I like to try new things. My family and friends love my cooking and always ask me to share, with them, what I know about food, flavor, and technique.

I'm not a professional chef and I've had no formal culinary training. What I know and do in the kitchen comes from three women...Nana, Grandma Della, and Rose, my mom. Each one of them knew more about putting a meal on the table than any fancy chef in a white hat. They were the ultimate Balaboostas.

What I offer you is a lifetime of experience in the kitchen with my compliments and theirs. I hope they'd be proud. I will bring you my recipes as I make them with photos of the actual food I'm preparing. I'm no professional photographer either but I promise, my food will speak for itself in every picture.

The food on my table isn't stacked in a trendy tower.
Instead, my food is stacked with flavor and full of my passion for cooking. So please come in, make yourself comfortable, and enjoy.

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Disclaimer: While most of my recipes are "Jewish Style", I do sometimes cook with pork. This might have been a great disappointment to some but my grandmothers knew that I live in modern world. I light Shabbos candles religiously but I have to admit...I do not keep a Kosher home.

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Nana's Salmon Croquettes - Salmon Cakes with Lemon Herb Mayo

When I think comfort food, Salmon Croquettes come to mind. This is a dish my Nana loved to make, and so do I. Classically formed into a 'cake' or 'burger', they can just as easily shaped into fingerling form. My Nana used to mix a handful of frozen peas into the recipe and then filled Abalone shells topping it off with a butter crumb topping. She would bake them off to a golden brown. I remember thinking the table looked so fancy with the patter full of these beautiful stuffed shells. It certainly brings back warm memories. I've replaced the peas with finely sliced scallions and while I do have Nana's abalone shells, I make mine in the fingerling shape. Salmon Croquettes pair nicely with the ever comforting mac 'n cheese and/or a crisp salad. Left overs make great cold sandwiches the next day too.


Make the Lemon Herb Mayo first so it has time in the refrigerator allowing the flavors to blend - stir before serving) This can be made a way ahead of time, even the day before as well as can the croquettes, and stored in fridge, covered, until ready to finish.

  • Lemon Herb Mayo...
Ingredients...

  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tbsp white prepared horseradish

Here's how you do it...

  1. Mix mayo, lemon juice, dried thyme, and white prepared horseradish in a small bowl until thoroughly blended.
  2. Cover and store in refrigerator for at least an hour, preferably longer or overnight to allow flavors to blend.
  3. Stir just before serving.

  • Nana's Salmon Croquettes...
Ingredients...

  • 2 portions fresh Salmon (shortcut: 1 large or 2 small cans of salmon- not as good but easy)
  • 3 tablespoons oil (e.v. olive or canola)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
  • 2 finely sliced scallions (green onions) (or 1/2 chopped yellow onion if you don't have scallions)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup cornflake crumbs
  • plus 1/4 cup cornflake crumbs in a shallow bowl for coating (keep aside)
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise (low fat mayo is perfect for this)
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • dash of Worcestershire's sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
Here's How You Do It...

  1. The easiest way I found to cook the salmon is to preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil.
  3. Rub the salmon portions with one of the 3 tablespoons of oil and place them on the pan.
  4. Sprinkle with a little salt & pepper and bake for 20 minutes until the fish begins to flake easily.
  5. DO NOT OVERCOOK.
  6. Remove from oven and allow to cool. You can break up the portions with a fork to speed up the cooling process. Meanwhile...
  7. Using a fork in a large bowl mix all the other ingredients except the salmon and the 1/4 cup cornflake crumbs.
  8. Then add the cooled flaked salmon and blend.
  9. Form into desired shapes and then roll each in the reserved 1/4 cup cornflake crumbs to coat.
  10. Store formed and coated croquettes covered and in the refrigerator until ready to finish. To Finish...
  11. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat on your stove top.
  12. Place croquettes in the heated pan.
  13. Cook on each side for 4-5 minutes until golden.
  14. Place on paper towels to drain for a minute before serving.

Serve with prepared Lemon Herb Mayo.

Your family will be asking you to make these for them again and again.

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