Vacation Eating Backlash: Fish Cakes

Img_6456We had leftover grilled orata (how does one end up with leftover orata? And at 16 bucks a pound, at that. Well, I overbought and overcooked after two weeks of restaurant meals in Ireland. In addition to the orata, I’d made some Batali-inspired pasta with spicy clams [stay tuned for a reciipe later], we barely had room for the fish course) The next day, we didn’t want to eat the orata over salad. We didn’t have any tortillas to make L.A.-appropriate fish tacos. We didn’t have any other ideas. But then, in an uncharacteristically, muted-palate, British mood, my wife suggested fish cakes. Which we’d never made before. It sounded simple enough. Even exotic in its public school (British interpretation) practicality. So we researched recipes on line. We flipped through our cook books. We riffed. And here’s what we came up with:

2 cups flaked cooked white fish (leftovers are ideal)
2 cups toasted rustic white bread, finely chopped
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
1/4 cup green onions, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1 egg, beaten

Mix all the above ingredients in a bowl until well combined. Form into 2 inch patties. Heat a couple tablespoons olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Sautee fish cakes, several minutes per side, until golden brown and cooked through. Serve with a huge salad. Which the kids didn’t eat. But they devoured the fish cakes. I thought they were awesome, but my wife thought they could be a tad less dry: more egg? a bit of milk? more fish? a bit of mashed potato? Who knows. We used up what leftovers we had on hand, which is sort of the point, right?
—Hugh

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2 Responses to Vacation Eating Backlash: Fish Cakes

  1. matthew says:

    Hey Hugh,
    I’d substitute mash potato for the white bread.
    There’s a really good version of fishcakes served at the Frontline club in London that has peas, mashed potato and a flaky whitefish (but not too flaked). Mash the potato with butter and milk (or even some plain yogurt) and you’ll get a version that is fluffy and not dry.

  2. malika says:

    Fish cakes sound good. Next time try What I Learned on My British Vacation – Kedgeree. My personal rendition, after eating it just once in London, goes:
    Sauté sliced onions in butter with a little curry powder. Fold in leftover white rice and cooked fish (in big chunks, which get flaked a little more when you fold). Moisten with a bit of cream. Serve with a wedge of lemon. (Supposed to also serve with hard-boiled eggs, but I never do.)
    Kedgeree is a breakfast food – I love fish for breakfast – but it’s a nice easy supper, too.

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