Gently cooked fish, creamy mash packed with flavour and a rich tartare sauce. Put them together and you have a simple, tasty family dish that goes equally well at a relaxed dinner party – cod fishcakes.
We love them. Quick to prepare, all the family can get involved and, once cooked, they’re so much tastier than anything bought in a store.
They’re also packed with healthy nutrients and good quality carbs so a great way to get children to explore different flavours and open up their palette.
And they go fantastically well with our homemade triple cooked chips – they’re paleo too.
*recipe adapted from Angela Nilson. I’ve put paleo additions in bold italics – the fishcakes you can see are in the paleo crumb.
what you’ll need
Equipment: frying pan. Sauce pan. Slotted spoon. Mixing bowls. Oven.
Cod fishcakes – paleo:
- 450g skinned cod
- 2 bay leaves
- 150ml milk
- 150g water
- 400g potatoes, peeled and chopped into even chunks
- 1 tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
- 1 tbsp snipped chives
- flour, for shaping
- 1 egg, beaten
- 85g breadcrumbs/paleo breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
tartare – style sauce:
- 125ml mayonaise
- 1 and a 1/2 tbsp capers, roughly chopped
- 1 rounded tsp creamed horseradish
- 1 rounded tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 small shallot, blanched for 30 seconds in boiling salty water then very finely chopped
- 1 tsp flatleaf parsley, finely chopped
Mix all the sauce ingredients together. Set aside.
Place the cod and bay leaves in a frying pan. Pour over the milk and water.
Cover, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 4 minutes. Take off the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes to gently finish cooking the fish.
Put the potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water. Add a pinch of salt, bring to the boil then simmer for 10 – 12 minutes or until tender, but not broken up.
Lift the fish out of the milk with a slotted spoon and put on a plate to cool. Drain the potatoes in a colander and leave for a minute or two. Tip them back into the hot pan on a low heat and let them dry out for 1 minute, mashing them with a fork and stirring so they don’t stick until you have a light, dry fluffy mash. Take off the heat and beat in 1 rounded tbsp of the tartare-style sauce, the lemon zest, parsley and chives. Season well with salt and pepper.
Drain off the liquid from the fish, grind some pepper over it, then flake into big chunks into the pan of mash. Using your hands, gently lift the fish and potatoes together so they just mix. Put to one side and cool.
Set up three shallow bowls, two if you’re paleo. In the first, your flour (unless you’re going paleo). A second for your beaten egg. A third for your breadcrumbs/paleo breadcrumbs.
Divide the fish cake mixture into four before carefully shaping into four cakes.
One by one, sit and roll each cake in first the flour, then the egg, and then the crumbs. Make sure they are fully covered. Transfer to a plate, cover and chill for 30 mins (or up to a day ahead).
Preheat your oven to 180C fan.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Fry the fish cakes over a medium/high heat for about 3 mins on each side and then transfer to your oven and cook for 7 minutes.
Serve with tartare sauce and a few slices of lemon for squeezing over.