Today is a very welcome day off and I'm in the middle of doing absolutely nothing. My idea of a good time is just relaxing, a bit of cooking, reading and the internet. Maybe I'm getting old and boring.
There have been many days of late full of drama and stress. Right now though, I have a cup of coffee (not really coffee, I've got chocolate mudcake instant latte) and a piece of coffee and almond cake from yesturday. Life is good.
I treated myself to a lovely, light lunch that I started planning since last night. I've never heard of anyone who goes to bed fantasizing about recipes they can use the next morning but I'm one such person. Pathetic, really. In my defense, I'm fashion-obsessed too but I find that a bit more money and opportunity is needed to go anywhere with that.
The idea of a salmon fishcake came about because there's been a tin of cooked salmon meat in my fridge for a long time. On its own, it looks much too much like cat food for me to want to touch it. I thought I'd vamp it up into a proper dish and go from there. Nigella has an easy salmon fishcake recipe in 'Nigella Bites' that I adapted.
Salmon and Potato Fishcakes
For fish cakes
- 1 med-sized washed potato, peeled and boiled
- 1 medium can of cooked salmon (approx 300-400g), drained and mashed
- zest of 1/2 a lemon
- big pinch of cayenne pepper
- 15g blob of butter
- Note: you want about a 60:40 ratio of salmon to potato
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs
- oil/butter for frying
1. In a large bowl, hand mix all the fish cake ingredients together. When I made mine, the potato wasn't completely soft so I left 1/4 of it in small chunks and put the rest of it together with the other ingredients in the food processor and blitzed until smooth. I then mixed it with the chunks.
2. Use your hands to form the mixture into cakes. I made mine smaller than suggested - about 5-6cm across, rather than palm sized. Place these on a piece of non-stick paper. When they're all formed into cakes, cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 30min (more if you can). You can prepare the salsa (below) in the meantime.3. When the patties are nice and cold (should have firmed up a bit), you can coat each one with egg and then roll in breadcrumbs. Try to coat evenly with breadcrumbs and be careful not to let the fishcakes fall apart.4. Heat up some butter or oil in a non-stick frying pan on medium-high heat. Fry each fish cake for about 2min on both sides till golden brown and crisp. The ingredients are technically pre-cooked so you don't really have to worry about the insides being raw. Just make sure it's well-heated throughout.
5. Serve with the tangy salsa and a bit of mayonnaise (I used Kewpie Japanese mayonnaise).
Makes 2 side-servings
- 1 Roma tomato, cut into wedges with seeds removed
- 1/2 red onion, cut into thin slices
- 1/2 avocado, cut into thin slices
- juice of 1 small lime
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley
- salt and black pepper to taste
1. Cut the tomato into strips (easier it you make wedges first and remove the insides).2. Toss together the tomato strips, onion strips and avocado strips.
3. Squeeze the lime juice over the top. Add oil and parsley and toss to coat evenly.
4. Sprinkle a bit of salt and black pepper on top to serve.
Today's lunch was very satisfying to me. The fishcakes were delicious and went perfectly with the tangy salsa and mayonnaise. I would have liked the fishcakes to be a bit firmer but that can probably be improved by increasing the portion of potato or adding a tiny bit of flour.
The salsa was based on something I saw Jamie Oliver make on TV. As much as I tried, I could not find that recipe on the net so I just improvised. The result was fantastic. It's a bit too tangy to have on its own (although I suppose you can reduce the amount of lime juice) but it's just right when accompanying something else. Japanese mayonnaise brings everything together with its slightly tart creaminess.