If you asked my husband what his favourite food was, he would probably say “fishcakes” although he is a joy to cook for as he enjoys nearly every meal I dish up, but fishcakes remain near the top of the list.
I make a large batch of fishcakes as they freeze so beautifully and at this time of year, I am trying to use up the vast quantities of parsley I have growing in the garden before the frosts come and spoil it. At the moment I have huge bunches of parsley hanging in my kitchen drying so that I can crumble it in dishes throughout the winter months. I often pop some in the freezer as well.
1kg potato, peeled and cut into chunks (include a sweet potato if you have one as it gives the fishcakes a lovely colour)
1kg fish (salmon, hake, cod, prawns, haddock, smoked haddock)
Large handful fresh parsley, finely chopped
Zest of one lemon, plus juice
1 large egg
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Oil for frying, olive or coconut
Bring a pan of salted water to the boil, add the potato chunks and cook until tender (20 – 25 minutes). Drain into a colander and leave for a few minutes to steam and go flaky. Return to the pan and mash to a smooth consistency. Set aside.
Meanwhile, place the fish, except prawns, on an oiled sheet of foil (large enough to fold over and enclose the fish) on a baking sheet. Squeeze the lemon juice over and sprinkle with black pepper. Seal in the foil and bake in a 190° oven until just cooked and starting to flake; about 15 minutes. Once cooked, open the foil and leave to cool slightly.
Place the mashed potato, chopped parsley and egg into a large bowl, and carefully break up the fish removing any skin or bones. Coarsely chop the prawns and add. Sprinkle the lemon zest on top. Add extra salt and pepper to taste. Carefully mix together taking care not to break up the fish too much. I find these fishcakes are much nicer with decent sized pieces of fish in them.
Using floured hands (I use buckwheat flour) gently shape the mixture into patties and place on parchment paper lined baking sheets. Chill in the fridge for at least an hour or two before cooking to allow them to firm up. Freeze the fishcakes at this stage.
Heat some oil in a pan and fry the fishcakes until golden brown on each side and heated through. Serve with a fresh green salad and a dressing of your choice; I keep parsley butter in the freezer which is really tasty on top. Alternatively, serve with some delicious steamed samphire.
These fishcakes freeze beautifully and I open freeze them on the baking sheets then either individually wrap them before sealing in a bag, or interleave them with baking parchment to avoid them sticking together.
The quantity above makes approximately 18 to 20 good-sized fishcakes.