When we used to live in Kent, I ventured into fishcake making. After all, I had a young son and knowing fish is extremely good for young growing brains was keen to get as much into him as was humanly possible. Fish, that is, not brains. Haven't broached the subject of brawn yet. ~delicate shudder~
I began by making tuna fishcakes, purely because tuna was about the only type of fish that was even remotely affordable. In those days, I was a bit of a scaredy-cat about frying (in fact, these fishcakes were my first "real" foray into shallow frying for aeons) and wouldn't do it. Hence, my early fishcakes had to be baked in the oven - which is never a good look on a fishcake. I then began to get a bit random with the ingredients, resulting in a potato cake that had a little bit of fish in it - which was never going to go down well with my potato-hating hubby.
As a consequence, fishcakes have been off the menu roster for a very many years.
Which makes it all the more surprising that one day last week, we had "Peppered Mackerel Fish Cakes" - which weren't greeted with dancing in the aisles, but were eaten and professed to be "your best fishcake yet". Which I take to mean "blinking gorgeous fishcakes" in any other language. Well, I thought they were "blinking gorgeous fishcakes", anyway. In fact, if some were to float past me now, I'd probably cause more tremors to be felt across in Japan in getting to them - and we don't want that - so it's probably better that they aren't likely to.
The worst part of this recipe was the pin-boning of the fillets of fish before flaking them into the potato. It's incredibly hard to find those leetle bones when they're covered in a coarse covering of pepper! Oh, but it was worth it. So very, very, worth it.
PEPPERED MACKEREL FISH CAKES (makes 6)
300g cold mashed potatoes
6 spring onions, thinly sliced
1 tbsp horseradish sauce
300g peppered mackerel fillets, skinned, de-boned and flaked
salt & pepper
2 tbsp plain flour
1 egg, beaten
85g dried breadcrumbs
sunflower oil, for frying
salad and lemon wedges, to serve
1. In a large bowl, mix together the potato, spring onions, horseradish and mackerel and season to taste.
2. Shape into 8 even-sized cakes, compressing the mixture together as much as possible.
3. Roll the fish cakes in the flour, then dip into the egg, then into the breadcrumbs.
4. Cover and chill until ready to cook.
5. Gently grill or shallow-fry the fish cakes for 5-6 mins on each side until crunchy, golden brown and hot all the way through. Place them onto a warm plate under a warm grill, to keep hot until you are ready to serve.
6. Serve with salad and lemon wedges.