I’ve never been particularly brave when it comes to cooking fish, so I jumped at the chance to get involved with a campaign by Fish is the Dish, to get more parents cooking fish for their families.
Seafish is a pretty admirable organisation – aiming to support and improve the environmental sustainability, efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the fishing industry, as well as to promote sustainably-sourced seafood.
To be part of the campaign I agreed to receive a delivery of a selection of fish and then serve it up for dinner. Delishfish sent a box of beautiful looking haddock and salmon with a recipe suggestion for fish pie. I decided to put some fish cakes together as the boys are a bit more partial.
I found inspiration on the Good Food website, with Angela Nilson’s Ultimate fish cakes recipe. I made a few tweaks though, most notably using crushed cornflakes instead of breadcrumbs. This was a VERY good decision, as the resulting crumb was supercrunchy, giving way to fluffy delicious fish and potato. Probably the best fish cakes I’ve ever eaten, let alone cooked.
Yes, they’re messy to make. Yes, they make your kitchen stink of fried fish. But my goodness were they tasty!
Served with a handful of watercress and rocket and a splodge of home-made tartare sauce and a cheeky gin and tonic. The perfect way to end the slog that was half-term week!
Salmon and haddock fishcakes (based on BBC Good Food)
For the tartare sauce
1 tbsp capers, chopped
1 tsp creamed horseradish
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 tsp flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
For the fish cakes
500g mix of skinned salmon, haddock, and smoked haddock fillets
3 bay leaves
350g maris piper potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped
85g cornflakes, crushed
4 tbsp sunflower oil
lemon wedges and peppery salad, to serve
1. Mix all the ingredients for the tartare sauce together in a bowl, then set aside in the fridge.
2. Put the fish fillets into a frying pan with the bay leaves, then pour over the milk and water. Cover then bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer for 4 mins. Remove from heat and leave covered for 10 mins to finish cooking.
3. Put the potato chunks into a medium pan, cover with boiling water and simmer for 10 mins until tender.
4. Take the fish out of the milk with a slotted fish slice and transfer to a plate to cool. Drain the potatoes then return to the pan on a very low heat to dry out and mash with a fork.
5. Take the dry mashed potatoes off the heat and then stir through a generous tablespoon of the tartare sauce, along with the lemon zest and chopped parsley. Season to taste.
6. Season the fish with black pepper, then break it up into flakes with a fork and add to the potato. Mix together very gently using a wooden spoon.
7. Beat the egg then pour onto a dinner plate. Scatter the crushed cornflakes out onto another plate. Flour a large board and your hands and then form your fishcakes into 4 round patties about 2-3cm thick.
8. Dip them first in egg, then in the crushed cornflakes, then transfer to a clean plate and cover with cling and then chill in the fridge for 30 mins to firm up.
9. Heat the vegetable oil in a large heavy bottomed frying pan and then fry for 3-4 mins per side until golden.
I attempted to involve Arlo in the cookery proceedings… I think his expression in this photo pretty much says it all really – mooooooooodychops!