Fish cakes and tartare sauce have to be a favourite tea time food in our house. Tartare sauce, that sharp acidic mayonnaise 'with bits in' as my daughter says, is the perfect accompaniment to a delicious crispy fish cake. I've mentioned this in a previous post, but getting the little ones involved in something like a fish cake is an excellent way of experimenting with food and actually getting them to eat something different. It is also a great excuse to get out my favourite kitchen gadget, my £1 potato ricer.
With a rare Saturday without my daughter, it was adult time in the kitchen. I had a few fillets of cod and some potatoes, but I wanted to beef it up with a few ingredients that perhaps would not have passed the Cerys test. Thinking about the tartare sauce element, I decided I would bring the sauce to the fish cake. So in went a few chopped capers and gherkins. I also thought some black olives would salt it up and make it even more adult. A squeeze of lemon juice, yes. And a lot of mint and chives, perfect.
The result was nothing like what my daughter and I have been playing with since she took a huge interest in cooking this past year or so. They had gone too far to be called a fish cake, so I named them my Cod, Caper and Olive Potato Cakes. A name that would have the children running but the adults having a second glance over the menu. A simple lemon mayonnaise and a green salad was all that was needed to accompany them and they were outstanding. Even if I say so myself.
Cod, Caper and Olive Potato Cakes
Makes 6 large cakes
Fillets of 1 large cod
2 bay leaves
4 large floury potatoes
1 handful of capers, rinsed and finely chopped
1 handful of black olives, preferably them salty Greek olives, stoned and finely chopped
4 small gherkins, finely chopped
A handful of mint leaves and chives, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
2 eggs, beaten
1 - Place the potatoes in a large pan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil then cook until they are cooked through. Leave to cool slightly, then peel and either mash into a bowl or use a potato ricer adding the butter.
2 - Place the cod fillets into a large shallow pan. Cover with roughly half milk, half water, a slice of lemon, a slice of onion, the bay leaves and some seasoning. Bring to the boil then simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Gently break the cod fillets into the potato, ensuring all bones and skin are removed.
3 - Stir in the capers, olives, gherkins, fresh herbs, a squeeze of lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Be gentle on the salt as the olives have plenty.
4 - Put the beaten eggs in a bowl, some seasoned plain flour on one plate and the breadcrumbs on another. Add enough olive oil to a non-stick pan to allow shallow frying and heat up.
5 - Shape the mixture into 'cakes' using floured hands. Dip them first into the flour, then the egg, then the breadcrumbs and fry gently for approximately 7 minutes each side until golden and crisp. Place onto kitchen towel to absorb some oil, then serve with a simple green salad and some lemon mayonnaise.