Hairy Dieters Fishcakes

Cooking for both meat eaters and pescatarians can sometimes be difficult. But upon seeing this recipe in a Hairy Dieters Eat for Life book, I felt they were hearty enough for both parties. Surprised at the lack of potato in the recipe, the amount of fish helps to bulk out the fishcake and adds a good amount of flavour. I covered mine in Panko breadcrumbs to help add extra crunch and served with some roasted vegetables, asparagus and broccoli.

275g potatoes, peeled and cut into rough 3cm chunks
300g thick cod or haddock fillet, unskinned
100g smoked haddock fillet, unskinned
1 bay leaf
finely grated zest of ½ small lemon
4 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced
oil, for spraying
1 large egg
50g fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs
1 tsp paprika
lemon wedges, to serve
flaked sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Start this fish cakes recipe by putting the potatoes in a pan of cold water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat slightly and simmer for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are soft but not falling apart.
While the potatoes are cooking, put the fish fillets in a large saucepan, placing the thicker fillets on the bottom of the pan. Cover with cold water and add the bay leaf. Put a tight-fitting lid on the pan and gently bring to a simmer, then immediately take the pan off the heat. Leave the fish to stand for 5 minutes.
Drain the potatoes well in a colander, tip them back into the pan and mash them until smooth or pass them through a potato ricer. Put the mash in a large bowl and season with salt and black pepper.
Drain the fish really well in a colander and break it into large chunks, discarding the skin and any bones as you go. Put the fish in the same bowl as the mashed potato and stir in the lemon zest and spring onions with a large wooden spoon – try not to break up the fish too much. Divide the mixture into 4 balls and flatten each ball to about 3cm thick. If the mixture is too soft to shape into balls, cover and leave it to cool for a while. The potato will stiffen up as it cools. Lightly mist a baking tray with oil.
Beat the egg in a shallow bowl. Mix the breadcrumbs with the paprika in a large bowl. Dip a fishcake into the egg, coating it on all sides. Allow any excess egg to drip off the fishcake and then place it in the breadcrumbs, turning it and pressing firmly to get an even coating of crumbs on all sides. Place the fishcake on the greased tray and prepare the rest in the same way. Leave them to chill in the fridge until you’re ready to cook, but use them within 24 hours.
To cook the fishcakes, preheat the oven to 220°C/Fan 200°C/ Gas 7. Mist the fishcakes with the oil and bake them for 15–20 minutes until crisp and golden brown. Serve with vegetables or a lightly dressed salad and some lemon wedges for squeezing.


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