Sometimes mushing together a bunch of leftover ingredients that urgently need using up yields the most delicious result :)
These hearty flavour-packed patties are formed from a combination of potatoes that had started to quite seriously sprout, some gradually withering spring onions left from a previous recipe experiment, the last few lonely capers swimming around in a jar of vinegar and a lemon that had been waiting so long for its turn it had started to look a bit sulky. Throw in some smoked fish bought off a supermarket reduced rack, a good dash of seasoning and an egg to bind it all and voila- a warm and satisfying meal perfect for spring.
Adapt as needed to make it a starter or main, and serve alongside tartare sauce or salsa.
Smoked Fish Cakes with Spring Onion and Chive
Makes about 12 fishcakes
500g potatoes (2 large)- Cut into chunks and boil in salted water for about 15 mins until tender. Drain thoroughly until as dry as possible, then mash and set aside.
400g boneless smoked fish fillets (I used smoked cobbler which happened to be on discount, but any smoked fish works fine)- place in a deep frying pan with about 1 cup milk (or use water if you don't want to waste milk) and poach over low heat about 5 mins until the fish flakes easily. Lift the fish pieces out and break into chunks with a fork.
Combine the flaked fish and potatoes well in a large bowl with:
1 egg, beaten
A handful of fresh chives, chopped finely
A few spring onions, chopped
1 heaped tbsp capers, chopped
Grated zest of 1 lemon
Good squeeze of lemon juice (I used about 1/4 of a lemon)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pour about 3 tbsp plain flour onto a plate (or use breadcrumbs if preferred, or some people dip in flour then in egg then in breadcrumbs to create a thicker crust). Drop a tablespoon of the fishcake batter into the flour and press it lightly to form a round pattie. Use two tablespoons to flip and dust it until lightly coated on both sides. Shake of excess flour and place fishcake onto a tray/plate. Repeat until all mix is used up.
At this point, the fishcakes can be frozen for future use if desired.
To cook, heat some olive oil in a large heavy frying pan and fry several fish cakes at a time over medium heat, about 5 mins on each side flipping midway until golden brown. If cooking from frozen, don't bother defrosting- just
fry straight from the freezer for 10 mins each side.
Serve straightaway with a lemon wedge and tartare sauce or salsa. Dig in heartily with a fork!