I love fish but I am frequently stumped on how to prepare it beyond simply steaming a filet with lemon. However, I was totally inspired by the amazing seafood and fish dishes I was lucky enough to enjoy this past week.
I was fortunate enough to be in NYC last week for work. Our Thursday event included dinner at La Cirque: delicious seared scallops and pancetta served on top of pea coulis as an appetizer followed by black cod in phyllo for my main course. And then…gorgeous yummy crab cakes at the Sea Grill at Rockefeller Centre for lunch on Friday with friends. I felt very very lucky – not just because of the food but also by the wonderful company at both meals.
Arrived home in Toronto to find the SO had just smoked a side of salmon which we served as an appetizer for a dinner party under the trees & stars on Saturday night. Another wonderful meal with great friends and fascinating, wide-ranging discussions.
By Sunday, I was on a roll. I wanted something simple for Sunday night dinner but definitely was still in a fish mood. So…when one has smoked salmon and other fixings in the fridge, salmon cakes it is!
I have to give credit for this recipe to my sister – she made these on a trip to Toronto many years ago and I have been looking for the opportunity to try it out myself since then. These take very little time to prepare although if you can make & form the cakes a few hours in advance to let them sit in the fridge, it helps them keep their form when cooking. She used smoked mackerel, and I used smoked salmon but you could easily use any other cooked fish or even canned tuna or salmon if you want.
Easy Peas-y Fish Cakes (serves 3)
1. Peel 1 large potato and 1 medium sweet potato (you can use 2 potatoes if you prefer). Cut up into large chunks and boil in salted water until fork tender. Drain and mash.
2. Add the cooked fish you are using to the potato mixture – I used about 300 grams but this may vary depending on how you like your potato to fish ratio. I shredded the salmon to make sure I’d removed any bones and also I was looking for a finer blend with everything but this is according to taste. Mix in with the potato mixture.
3. Mix in about 2 tbs of mayonnaise to moisten. I then added chopped chives (you could use dill) and about 1/2 cup of peas (if you are using frozen peas, defrost first by running under hot water and then dry before adding). Season with salt and pepper.
4. After mixing all the ingredients together, form the cakes. I ended up with 5 nicely sized ones from this recipe. Place the cakes on a plate and refrigerate for 1 – 2 hours.
5. Heat up olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot, place the cakes in the skillet. It should take about 5 minutes per side to cook the outsides and heat up the insides.
I served these with a fresh garden salad. If you wanted, you could make up a sauce out of yogurt & dill, yogurt & capers, or serve on a bed of pureed peas….basically whatever takes your fancy.
Perhaps this meal wasn’t quite the same as the gourmet treats I’d indulged in earlier in the week but it was a nice comforting finish to my week and I will definitely be making them again.
Would love to hear any suggestions on other potential additions…