I was at a BBQ at a friends house at the weekend and came home with lots of leftovers. These leftovers included a side of uncooked salmon and leftover boiled potatoes. I also raided their herb garden and came home with a bouquet of herbs including chives, mint, basil, thyme and rosemary. What to make? Could be fish pie but it’s not Winter (although it feels like it again today) and I wanted something light with some salad on the side. Quick and easy was also important. I had one of those days yesterday and wanted to sit down with a glass of wine, pronto. So, fish cakes it was. Perfect, ready in half an hour and before I knew it I was plonked in front of the tv browsing a stash of cookbooks while watching some food shows, Sanjeev Baskars India, and, dare I say it, Big Brother. Don’t judge me. I was weak. It wasn’t me, yer honour! ;)
Food like this makes me think back to Home Economics class when I was 13 and the first time I made potato cakes. I was amazed that you could make something so nice with leftovers and so quickly. Some mashed potato, flour, butter, egg & seasoning, cooked like a pancake and served in slices. YUM! Home Economics wasn’t always such a success, mind. I was very giddy and one day tipped a whole bag of salt into my homemade vegetable soup by accident. I am feeling very nostalgic for those days and have been trying to source the Home Economics book we had – All about home economics: A complete course in Intermediate Certificate and Day Vocational Certificate home economics byt Deirdre Madden, but to no avail. If anyone knows where I can get a copy I’d be thrilled!
Anyway, back to the fish cakes. They’re so easy. Really. I like my fish cakes to have more salmon than potato but that’s down to your individual preference. Play around with quantities until you get the consistency you want. I used chives but you could use flat leaf parsley or a selection of herbs. The quantities below will serve four. I chose to make 4 big cakes but 8 small ones is good too. I served one each with a side salad of rocket, quartered cherry tomatoes & finely sliced red onion in a balsamic and olive oil dressing – (one third vinegar to oil plus seasoning).
300g cooked salmon, skin and bones removed & flaked
200g mashed potato, with a little butter, about 30g (or margarine/olive oil if you can’t have butter)
1 egg, beaten
dry breadcrumbs, I used japanese panko breacrumbs
a little flour & beaten egg for breadcrumbing
2 tbsp chopped chives
oil for frying
Add the flaked salmon to the mashed potato and mix thoroughly. Add enough beaten egg to moisten without getting too wet, you should still be able to mould a ball with it. I used half an egg. If you use too much you can always add some breadcrumbs to dry it, although I prefer to have mainly salmon inside so would avoid this step if possible.
Add the chives and season with S&P.
Divide the mixture into 4 or 8 and with floured hands create some ball shapes. Flatten them into rounds. Dip in some flour, tip off the excess, then some beaten egg and finally the breadcrumbs.
Shallow fry for about 5 minutes on each side until crisp and golden.