There is nothing better than crumbed fish and potato. This recipe works well with any fish – salmon through to mackerel. The poaching liquor can also be turned into a sauce for the fish cakes.
- 400 g (14 oz) fish fillets
- 400 ml (14 fl oz) milk
- 1 bay leaf
- 400 g (14 oz) potatoes, such as king edward, peeled and chopped
- 1 egg, beaten
- 4 spring onions (scallions), sliced
- 1 tbsp chopped dill
- 1 tbsp chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
- 100 g (3½ oz/1⅔ cups) fresh sourdough breadcrumbs
- vegetable oil, for frying
- lemon wedges, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Chilling time 1 hour
Place the fish in a large saucepan with the milk and bay leaf and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring to a gentle simmer over low heat to poach the fish – this will take around 10 minutes; to check, touch the fish and it should flake. Remove from the heat and carefully lift the fish out, reserving the milk. Place the fish on a tray, remove and discard any bones and skin, then set aside the flesh to cool.
Meanwhile, place the potatoes in a saucepan, cover with water and cook over medium heat until tender. Drain well, add a little poaching milk and mash – you don’t want it to be wet, so just add enough of the milk to make a good mash consistency. Add the fish, egg, spring onions, dill and parsley, and fold through gently so you don’t break up the fish too much. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper if necessary.
Place the breadcrumbs on a plate. Roll the fish mixture into balls, then coat them in the crumbs. Flatten each ball to create a burger shape. Place the cake on a clean plate, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium–low heat. Cook the cakes, in batches if necessary, for about 5 minutes on each side, or until the crumbs are golden brown. Serve with wedges of lemon.
Recipe and image from The Gourmet Farmer Goes Fishing by Matthew Evans, Nick Haddow and Ross O’Meara (Murdoch Books, $49.99, hbk).