Fishcakes with salted cucumber and crème fraîche
( SERVES 6 )
Long before Thai-inspired fishcakes became fashionable, there were the familiar "old-school" ones made with mashed potato and fish. To think of this style of fishcake as a way to use leftover mashed potato and previously cooked fish is to seriously misunderstand the fishcake. Certainly, in a perfect world these cakes should be purpose made, but there is something special about the way day-old mashed potato goes crispy when fried. They may not be as complex in flavour as their Asian counterpart, but they are wonderful to eat. They can be a bit rich, but the salted cucumber reduces that.
|2 Tbsp||Unsalted butter|
|2 Tbsp||Parsley, chopped|
|2||Anchovies, chopped finely|
|1||Salt & freshly ground pepper, to season|
|250 g||Creme fraiche|
|1||Telegraph cucumber, peeled and seeded|
|500 g||Groper, bluenose, moki or tarakihi|
|100 ml||Cooking oil|
|500 g||Starchy potatoes|
- Peel the potatoes and cut into 3cm cubes. Cook them in a saucepan of boiling salted water until they break apart when a fork is able to pierce them easily.
- Meanwhile, pour the milk into a large frying pan, add the fish, then gently simmer until tender.
- Drain the potatoes through a colander and return them to the saucepan. Place the saucepan over a low heat to steam for 3-5 minutes to evaporate any excess water, then mash.
- Lift the cooked fish from the milk. Combine the fish with the potato, seasoning lightly with salt and pepper.
- Stir in the parsley, zest and anchovies, then mix briskly without breaking up the flakes of fish too much.
- Coat your hands in the flour, then shape the mixture into flat cakes about 4-5cm in diameter and 1-2cm thick.
- Cut the cucumber into matchsticks and sprinkle with salt. Place the cucumber in a sieve over a bowl to drain for 20 minutes.
- Then tip into a teatowel and squeeze gently to remove any excess water. Set aside, discarding the liquid.
- Heat the oil and butter in a large frying pan until the butter is foaming, then gently slide the fishcakes into the pan.
- Cook until golden brown on both sides. Serve topped with the cucumber and some crème fraîche.