These make a great mid-week supper. They freeze really well and can be cooked from frozen, so I usually make a big batch and keep a stock handy. I use any fish I can get hold of really – the original recipe was for cod, but I’ve used all sorts of different combinations. Today’s were coley – cheap, cheerful and absolutely full of flavour. A bit of smoked fish in the mix can make a huge difference too. Play around, see what you can come up with. The key to success is making sure there are absolutely loads of fresh herbs in there to pep the whole lot up. The original recipe was taken from Mary Berry’s ‘At Home’ book.
Ingredients (makes 8):
600g fresh fish, skinned
400g potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
6 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
4 tbsp chopped fresh chives
finely grated zest 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp light mayonnaise
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 egg, beaten
175g fine breadcrumbs
rapeseed oil for frying
Preheat the oven to 200C. Butter a piece of foil, place the fish onto it and season well. Wrap the foil into a loose parcel – so the steam can circulate – and bake for 15 minutes until the fish is just opaque. Set aside to cool.
Boil the potatoes in salted water until cooked, then drain and mash (without butter) until really smooth – a potato extruder works best.
Place the potatoes into a bowl and flake in the fish. Add all the herbs, lemon zest, mayonnaise and mustard, season well and carefully mix.
Prepare 3 large shallow bowls for the bread-crumbing part – one with egg, one with flour and one with breadcrumbs.
Divide the mixture into 8 parts and shape each one into a fishcake around 2.5cm thick, dipping each one in turn into the egg, flour and breadcrumbs. Chill for at least 30 minutes before cooking.
When ready to cook, heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and fry the fishcakes for 4-5 minutes on each side until lightly golden and heated through. NB: if cooking from frozen, reduce the heat slightly and extend the cooking time.