For the tartare-style sauce
- 125ml mayonnaise
- 1 rounded tbsp capers, roughly chopped (rinsed and drained if salted)
Capers are the small flower buds of the Capparis shrub, which grows in the Mediterranean. As…
- 1 rounded tsp creamed horseradish
Horseradish root is larger than an ordinary radish, and has a hot, peppery flavour.
- 1 rounded tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 small shallot, very finely chopped
Related to the onion (as opposed to being a younger version of it), shallots grow in clusters at…
- 1 tsp flatleaf parsley, finely chopped
For the fish cakes
- 450g skinned Icelandic cod or haddock fillet, from a sustainable source
A popular mild-flavoured saltwater fish mainly found in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Cod…
- 2 bay leaves
- 150ml milk
One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a complete food. While cow…
- 350g Maris Piper potatoes
The world's favourite root vegetable, the potato comes in innumerable varieties. A member of…
- ½ tsp finely grated lemon zest
Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…
- 1 tbsp flatleaf parsley, chopped
- 1 tbsp snipped chives
- 1 egg
The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…
- flour, for shaping
Flour is a powdery ingredient usually made from grinding wheat, maize, rye, barley or rice. As…
- 85g fresh white breadcrumbs, preferably a day or two old
- 3-4 tbsp vegetable or sunflower oil, for shallow frying
A variety of oils can be used for baking. Sunflower is the one we use most often at Good Food as…
- lemon wedges and watercress, to serve
With deep green leaves, and crisp, paler stems, watercress is related to mustard and is one of…
Mix all the sauce ingredients together. Set aside. Lay the fish and bay leaves in a frying pan. Pour over the milk and 150ml/¼ pint water. Cover, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 4 mins. Take off the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 mins to gently finish cooking the fish.
Meanwhile, peel and chop the potatoes into even-sized chunks. Put them in a saucepan and just cover with boiling water. Add a pince of salt, bring back to the boil and simmer for 10 mins 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 min or two. Tip them back into the hot pan on the lowest heat you can and let them dry out for 1 min, mashing them with a fork and stirring so they don't stick. You should have a light, dry fluffy mash. Take off the heat and beat in 1 rounded tbsp of the sauce, then the lemon zest, parsley and chives. Season well with salt and pepper. The potato should have a good flavour, so taste and adjust to suit.
Drain off liquid from the fish, grind some pepper over it, then flake it into big chunks into the pan of potatoes. Using your hands, gently lift the fish and potatoes together so they just mix (see pic 1). You'll only need a couple of turns, or the fish will break up too much. Put to one side and cool.
Beat the egg on a large plate and lightly flour a board. Spread the breadcrumbs on a baking sheet. Divide the fish cake mixture into four. On the floured board, and with floured hands, carefully shape into four cakes, about 2.5cm thick (pic 2). One by one, sit each cake in the egg, and brush over the top and sides so it is completely coated (pic 3). Sit the cakes on the crumbs, patting the crumbs on the sides and tops so they are lightly covered. Transfer to a plate, cover and chill for 30 mins (or up to a day ahead).
Heat the oil in a large frying pan. To test when ready, drop a piece of the dry breadcrumbs in - if it sizzles and quickly turns golden brown, it is ready to use. Fry the fish cakes over a medium heat for about 5 mins on each side or until crisp and golden. Serve with the rest of the sauce (squeeze in a little lemon zest to taste), lemon wedges for squeezing over and watercress.