Wednesday, 13 February 2008

One ugly plate of food...

I almost didn't post this. I mean, it's not like I'm usually a beacon of food presentation - preferring the more-is-more approach to dining. However, this was outstandingly unattractive. And not even in a good hearty rustic kind of way. More in a I've-had-school-dinners-that-look-more-attractive-than-that kind of way. You probably wouldn't eat this voluntarily - especially if the pizza place round the corner was still delivering... Unfortunately for Boyfriend, he didn't have that kind of freedom of will, and it was just as well. Because it actually tasted really good!

Haddock Fishcakes with Crispy Potato Wedges

I got the recipe for these fishcakes years ago from a BBC show called The Best. I don't remember them being this messy when I made them first time round - I might have missed something! Amazingly, they contain mushy peas - I decided to make them again as part of the battle against my pea phobia. Mushy peas aren't as bad though - at least they don't pop!

Now this is the ugly plate. The Wedges weren't actually burnt as they look here, just crispy! And I know it would have looked better with a poached egg on top (which is what I had meant to do!) But I had ran out of saucepans, and the frying pan was right in front of me...

  • 300g smoked haddock
  • Milk for poaching fish
  • 3/4 lb floury potatoes (I used maris pipers), peeled and chunked
  • 3 or 4 large potatoes, cut into wedges, parboiled for 5 minutes and drained
  • flour for dusting
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • breadcrumbs for coating
  • 1 tspn mint sauce
  • 300g tin of mushy peas
  • salt and pepper
  • broccoli or other veg to serve
Preheat oven to 210c.

Boil the chunked potatoes in salted water until soft, drain, and mash (or pass through a ricer). Season as desired.

While the potatoes are cooking, place the haddock into a pan, cover with milk, bring to the boil then leave for 6 minutes.

Heat a decent glug of olive oil in a baking tray in the oven for 5 minutes. Add the par-boiled wedges, sprinkle with sea salt and roast for 20 minutes - shaking a couple of times during cooking.

In a large bowl, mix the mashed potatoes, mint sauce, peas and flaked haddock. Form the mixture into large fishcakes. I got 6 from my quantities - Boyfriend ate 2, I ate one and a half!

Dip the fish cake into the flour, then into the beaten egg, then into the breadcrumb coating. Fry over a medium heat for 2/3 minutes on each side. Repeat for all fishcakes - keeping the cooked ones warm in the oven.

I had some problems that the cakes were quite difficult to handle - which made it really messy! If you think the plate of food looks bad - you should have seen the kitchen!!! I think next time, I'd maybe wait until the potato mixture had cooled before handling. Possibly ricing the potatoes may have made them too soft also.

To plate up, serve a fish cake (or 2!) with some wedges and an egg on the top. The runny yolk went very well with the haddock - though I would recommend poaching instead of frying!

Bizarrely enough, I also found out last night that my cat likes eating broccoli! Is that not a bit unusual??!

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