Smoked mackerel and sweet potato fishcakes :: yes its an on-the-menu day today.
seems to be a good day to talk about food. By Tuesday I'm generally
over the slacking of the weekend and have a menu plan chalked up for
the week, with a full compliment of food in the fridge and cupboards to
back up the aforementioned menu plan.
This was on the menu Tuesday of last week, and is a firm favourite around here.
We have smoked mackerel usually once a week. Its a wonderful staple food :: cheap, tasty, extremely nutritious and versatile. If I'm not making it into fishcakes, we have it as it comes (cold with a robust salad), in a kedgeree, or sometimes mixed with tuna and a cheese sauce into a pasta bake.
I'm particularly chuffed to be passing this recipe on to you because it's one of my very own. YEs, it really is! An Attic24 exclusive no less. Devised by yours truly. And as with most of my favourite recipes, it's easy, tasty, LP-friendly, and only six ingredients to worry about, one of which is growing in a pot outside the back door.
So first off you take the above four ingredients (1 slice wholemeal bread, 1 clove of garlic, juice of half a lemon and a handful of parsley) and whizz them together until you get fine, fragrant, zesty, herby breadcrumbs, as below. Have a good sniff, appreciate the thorough herbiness and zestiness.
Peel and finely dice the potato and cook until soft (I steam them in the microwave). Marvel at the colour, its the best kind of orangey orange. Give the potato a good mashing with a fork, then season well and add to the fish/crumb mixture.
Now you need to roll your sleeves up and get weighed in with your hands. It's squishing time. Trust me on this one, Squishing is the best method, you want everything combined thoroughly and hands/fingers are the perfect tool. Get stuck in, enjoy the muckiness of it!
To make the fishcakes. take small handfuls of the squished mixture and form it into neat patties in the palm of your hand. I can usually get about 10 smallish cakes from these ingredients which serves us just right (3 each for Big People and 2 each for Little People).
At this point, it helps to put the fishcakes in the fridge for 30min to firm up. This way you prevent them from mushing into a big heap in the frying pan in the manner of potato hash, which causes severe hissy fit.
So once they have chilled, heat a glug of oil in a non stick frying pan and gently fry the cakes for 3 mins or so on each side, or until they turn golden brown. Take care when flipping them over, they are quite soft and you do want to avoid it all going horribly wrong at this point.
To serve, I like to provide a selection of dolloppy dipping sauces.
This usually consists of tomato ketchup, a sweet chilli sauce, and then some sort of fresh creamy dip too. I make the creamy dip according to whats in the fridge :: sometimes it'll be a simple mix of greek yoghurt with a squeeze of lemon juice, or in this case it was a mix of cream cheese and tartare sauce with snipped fresh chives.
Then you need to provide a big pile of crudites to dip in the dolloppy dipping sauces. (cucumber, carrot and red/yellow pepper sticks). The idea is that the Little People are permitted to eat this whole meal with their fingers, dunking everything in the three dollopy dips. It delights them to eat this way. It tastes better this way. And of course there are always an abundance of pretty paper napkins to wipe fingers off afterwards.