Thursday, July 23, 2009

#169 Salmon Fishcakes

Now that I have decided that smoked salmon is not the work of Satan, I thought that I’d have a crack at some more salmon recipes. This is a good thing seeing as the freshwater fish section of the book is woefully under-represented. Still being a little tentative, I went for these fish cakes that do a great job of padding out some salmon fillets. They are a very old-fashioned style of fish cake – based on a very thick béchamel sauce, not what we are used to at all these days where we would expect chunky fish and potatoes. However, I’ve had the man flu coming on for a while and needed some comforting stodge.

This recipe makes eight to ten fishcakes, depending upon how big you like them.

Begin by poaching a pound of salmon in water that has been seasoned well with salt, pepper, white wine vinegar and some bay leaves. Also, mash 4 ounces of potatoes. Allow these to cool. Meanwhile, you can be making the béchamel sauce: melt 2 ounces of butter in a pan and stir in 3 ounces of plain flour. Cook for a few minutes before gradually stirring in ¾ pint of milk. The sauce will be very thick. Let it cool a little bit, then mash the salmon and stir in the sauce. Also mix in a tablespoon of dill and/or parsley, a squeeze of lemon juice and some salt and pepper. Beat in an egg and the mashed potatoes. Chill the mixture in the fridge and form into cakes; this is quite tricky as the mixture is soft. The best thing to do is to use a tablespoon to scoop out a large amount of it and place it in some prepared breadcrumbs and coat each one. You can place it in the fridge again if you like, but you don’t have to. Fry on a medium heat in a mixture of butter and oil for 4 minutes each side. I served it with lemon wedges and a green salad dressed with another recipe from the book: English salad sauce.

#169 Salmon Fishcakes. A tricky one to score. I enjoyed them – I even went back for seconds, but they were slightly too stodgy, even for me. However, the flavours were very good – not too fishy, nice and herby and delicious a piquant lemon taste. I would make them again, but with some modifications, I think – more potato, crushed rather than mashed; chunky fish rather than mashed…you get the idea. 5/10.

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