Wednesday, September 28, 2011

There's something fishy around here

I found some small, forgotten fish at the back of my freezer. I couldn't remember how long it had been since my husband had caught them, so I decided to use them to make stock. It turned out that the flavour of the fish was fine and I used the cooked flesh to make fish cakes for dinner.

We don't like wasted food around this house.

Fish Stock

makes approximately 2 litres

• 2 kilo. fish bones, heads or carcasses (well washed and gills removed)
• 2 onions (roughly chopped)
• 2 leeks (roughly chopped)
• 2 carrots (roughly chopped)
• 2 stalks celery (roughly chopped)
• 4 bay leaves
• 4 stalks parsley
• 4 stalks thyme
• 10 black peppercorns
• 750 ml white wine
• 2 litres water

Put all of the ingredients into a large stockpot and slowly bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Skim the surface while the stock is simmering if necessary. Strain. This can be refrigerated for 1 day or frozen for 2 months.

This fish cake recipe has been adapted from a Dutch Jewish recipe (viskoekjes) The original recipe had used twice as much fish, but I did not have that much at hand. The original recipe had rolled the fish patties in matzah meal, but again I only had fresh breadcrumbs in the house.

We loved them just as I have written here. In fact my daughter talked about them for days. The flavour reminded me of the fish cakes that my Nana used to make, so I have taken liberty to call them Nana's Fish Cakes.

Nana's Fish Cakes

serves 4-6

for the fish cakes

• 1 onion (finely diced)

• 50 grams butter

• 500 grams white fish fillets (cooked and flaked)

• 2 eggs (lightly beaten)

• 600 grams potatoes (boiled and mashed)

• 1 tablespoon parsley

• a pinch nutmeg

• salt and pepper

• fresh breadcrumbs to coat

• oil to shallow fry

lemon wedges to serve

Melt the butter in a small frying pan and gently saute the onions until soft. Leave to cool. Once cooled, mix all of the ingredients for the fish cakes together, refrigerate for 30 minutes. When you are ready to cook them form the fish mixture into small patties and coat them in the breadcrumbs. Heat oil in a large frying pan and shallow fry the fish cakes for 3-4 minutes on both sides until brown. Drain on kitchen paper and serve immediately with lemon wedges on the side.

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