Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Fishcakes with Prawns and Homemade Tartare Sauce

I must first apologise for this blog and recipe being late, I did promise it for last week but I was a little under the weather, now feeling much better here it is.

Fishcakes with Prawns and Homemade Tartare Sauce
You can't beat these homemade fish cakes, served with homemade tartare sauce just perfect with a squeeze of lemon.
We both like fishcakes and do not mind if they are made from Haddock, Cod, Pollack, Whiting, or Salmon, they are so straightforward to prepare, why not try adding a bit of smoked salmon for additional indulgence.
We used to serve these for breakfast and light lunches at The Great Tree Hotel sometimes using smoked haddock but no matter what fish we used they were always a popular dish.
We have served fishcakes as tea for the children of families we have worked for, and they always wanted more, Lord Hanson loved them for breakfast as did quite a few of his guests.

The fishcake has always been seen as a way of using up leftovers that might otherwise be thrown away, In Mrs Beeton's 19th century publication Book of Household Management, her recipe for fishcakes calls for leftover fish and cold potatoes.
For us though they are not just to use up leftover fish and potatoes they warrant being made in their own right, just the thing for a simple supper with salad. Perfect to cook and freeze in batches using good quality fish, ask your fishmonger for some good fish trimmings which he will probably have in somewhere, some fishmongers put a mix together for making fish pie.
Recipes that are more modern have added to the dish, by using ingredients such as smoked salmon, shellfish, and vegetables, in other words the humble fishcake has come of age and is now found on the menus of fine dining restaurants.

Now to the recipe which will make 4 large cakes or 8 small ones, this recipe should only take about 20 minutes to prepare and about 15 to 20 minutes to cook.

You will need for the Fish Cakes;
450 grams, filleted and skinned haddock, or you can use whiting, pollack, or cod
4, large raw tiger prawns, peeled and deveined
300 grams, potatoes, peeled and chopped for boiling
2, fresh bay leaves
2 sprigs, fresh parsley
150mls milk
½ teaspoon, finely grated lemons zest, we now use the small microplane grater
1 tablespoon fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 egg, beaten
3 tablespoons, plain flour to use for dusting etc
100 grams, fresh white breadcrumbs, we like ours to be a day or two old
2 tablespoons, vegetable oil, for shallow frying, we use the Tefal Again and Again it has no cholesterol.
Lemon wedges and watercress, baby spinach and rocket leaves to garnish

For a Quick Tartare Sauce Recipe;
200mls, mayonnaise
3 tablespoons capers, drained and chopped
3 tablespoons gherkins, drained and chopped
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1 good squeeze of lemon juice
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Mix all the sauce ingredients together and put to one side it is best to keep this chilled.

Method
Place the haddock and bay leaves and parsley sprigs into a pan, pour over the milk cover, bring up to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes. Now add the prawns, and take the haddock and prawns off the heat and let stand, covered, for about 10 minutes to finish cooking, the prawns will steam nicely and cook and become tender.
Put the potatoes into a pan cover with water and season with sea salt, bring to a boil lower the heat, and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until tender.
Now take the haddock and prawns from the milk with a slotted spoon and set aside to cool.
Drain the potatoes in a colander and leave for a few minutes to cool and drain a little, now put them through a potato ricer or mouli or just mash them by hand, we just want a light fluffy mash. Mix into the potatoes about 1 tablespoon of the sauce, lemon zest and parsley, season well with salt and pepper the potato should have a nice zesty flavour, so taste and fine-tune the seasoning.
Drain off any liquid from the haddock, grind some pepper over it, then flake it into the pan of potatoes slice the prawns into a similar thickness and then with your hands, gently lift the haddock and prawns and potatoes together so they just mix together it should only take a couple of turns, be careful you don’t want to allow the fish to break up too much.
Put the beaten egg into a shallow dish and lightly flour a board, spread the breadcrumbs on a baking sheet.

Divide the fish cake mixture into four cakes or 8 small cakes and on the floured work surface, and with floured hands, carefully shape the fish cakes about 1 inch thick.
Then one at a time, coat each cake in the beaten egg, making sure the top and sides are coated, I like to use a pastry brush for this. Now cover each cake one at a time in the breadcrumbs so that they are lightly covered.
Let chill for 30 minutes or so, you can make them ahead of time if you want.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the fish cakes over a medium heat for about 5 minutes on each side or until crisp and golden.
Serve and Enjoy with the tartare sauce and garnished with the watercress, spinach and rocket leaves and lemon wedges.

• The fish cakes will freeze brilliantly for up to 4 weeks
• To cook the fish cakes from frozen, place them on a lightly oiled tray, then drizzle with a little more oil, cook on the middle shelf under a medium grill for 12 to 15 minutes until golden, flip over, then cook the other side for 5 minutes.