Fishcakes are really simple to make and this Economy Gastronomy recipe is a great way to get some Omega 3 oils into the kids’ diets and use up salmon and mashed potato
- For the poaching liquor:
- 250ml white wine
- 2 onions (about 400g), peeled and diced finely
- 3 bay leaves
- 500ml water (or fish stock)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- For the fishcakes:
- 11.2kg mashing spuds (use more if you have a larger amount of salmon) peeled and halved or quartered
- 50g butter
- 100g plain flour
- 3 eggs
- 400g breadcrumbs
- A big handful (25g) of parsley, chopped
- 4 heaped tbsp horseradish
- 3tbsp light olive oil
- 350-400g poached salmon fillet
- 700ml reserved liquid from the salmon poaching (top up with water as necessary)
- For the creme fraiche tartare
- 130g creme fraiche or Greek yoghurt
- 2 spring onions, sliced finely
- 2tbsp capers, chopped
- 3 gherkins or cornichons, sliced
- A handful of dill (20g), chopped
- A squeeze of lemon juice
- Salt and pepper
First put your spuds into a pan of cold water with a large pinch of salt. Simmer for 20-25 mins until cooked but not mushy, then drain very thoroughly so they get a chance to release some steam and dry out a bit.
While the spuds are doing their thing, melt the butter in a saucepan, then stir 100g flour into it and let it cook for a minute, stirring all the time until it starts to bubble in a frothy kind of way. Start adding the poaching liquor (complete with the diced onion) bit by bit, mixing well and thoroughly until it’s all incorporated and you’re left with a smooth sauce. Keep stirring over the heat for a couple of minutes to cook out the flour. This will also help thicken the sauce a bit more.
Season the sauce and let it cool, preferably in the freezer for a few minutes, which will be speedier than the fridge. Things will move faster if you spread it out on a tray to cool – the sauce needs to be cold and thick, but not frozen to make it easier to roll the fishcakes.
While the sauce is chilling give your spuds a mash and move them into a bowl that will fit in your fridge. Add one of the eggs, beaten, a third of the breadcrumbs (just do this by eye), the parsley, horseradish and salmon, gently flaked. Last of all, add the sauce, which by now should be good and cold. Add a bit of seasoning and combine all the ingredients really well. Your hands are the best tool here.
Stick the mixture in the fridge, covered, for as long as you can. The longer you leave it, the easier it is to handle – overnight is best, but if you have an hour whack it in the freezer.
When your mixture is chilled and you’re ready for the messy bit, prepare three shallow trays, plus a lightly floured one at the end to put them on: the first gets the remaining two handfuls of flour, heavily seasoned with salt and pepper; the second two the eggs, beaten with two tablespoons of water, and the breadcrumbs go in the last one.
Divide the fishcake mix into 10 balls, each weighing about 200g. In batches, transfer four balls to the flour tray (don’t worry about shaping them into perfect balls until you’re in the breadcrumb tray). Once these are all lightly coated with flour move them to the eggy tray, which is where it starts to get messy; all of their surfaces have to be totally but lightly covered in egg for the breadcrumbs to adhere, but you don’t want to leave them in the eggy tray for too long or they will start going soft, making them harder to handle. Finally, they travel to the breadcrumbs and then onto a lightly floured tray for resting until all the others are done. Shape them into your idea of a fishcake. Once you’re happy with the shape, turn them over so you get a nice sharp edge. Wash your hands between batches, or you’ll find you’re wearing egg-and-crumb gloves.
To cook, preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Heat a thick-bottomed, over-proof frying pan (I wouldn’t try and cook more than four in each pan) with three tablespoons of light olive oil. When it’s nice and hot, gently lay them in, fry for a couple of mins until you can see the edges going golden, then gently turn them over and whack them in the oven for 15-20 mins.
While the fishcakes are cooking, use the time to throw together the tartare sauce; just mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Serve with a simple spinach salad, lemon wedge and a hearty dollop of the tartare.
These fishcakes are great for freezing - you'll probably only eat them one per person per meal