Friday, August 12, 2011

Fish Cakes, Get your Fish cakes right here . . .

Remember Saturday's fish, caught by my bandana-ed brother in the background there, being expertly filleted by my son-in-law, the cook. While he and my brother prepared the fish to bone-free grill perfection, they put aside some lovely belly tidbits, as well as reserving head and bones for future bouillabaisse or crab bait.

Before they left on Monday morning, Rob and Meg gave Paul clear instructions for turning that pile of leftover (raw) salmon into delicious fish cakes. Of course, their recipe was as specific as any restaurant cook's

But Paul coped well with the loose instructions. He started by baking some large russet potatoes, then "smashing" them with a fork, discarding the skins and transferring smashed innards to a bowl. Meanwhile, he had minced  1/2 a red and 1/2 a yellow pepper along with 1/2 an onion (he'd use 2 shallots next time, but had none around Monday) and "sweated" them 'til translucent in olive oil, in a pan (could have subbed in butter).  Meg & Rob had suggested fennel as another possible veg. to include, but none around plus Paul didn't want to overwhelm the cakes with veg. He cut dill very fine and added it (I was impressed at how clearly its flavour came through, enhancing the salmon beautifully -- other complementary herbs would be tarragon, parsley, or chives). Chopped the salmon into manageable bite-sized pieces and mixed the whole together, squirting in some lemon juice and grating in lemon zest, some salt and pepper to taste, and you're ready to form into cakes and then to fry up in olive oil or butter (or whatever your preferred cooking fat).  Remember that the salmon needs to be cooked, so you'll have to press the cakes fairly thin and might want to cover the pan to finish (we're not leery of a little tartare, but some of you prefer well done, even in your fish).

The newlyweds (we'll call them that for another month or two, 'til the novelty wears off) wanted pics of the final product -- I don't find the cakes too photogenic, personally, but they were both economical and  very tasty. Rather than the double green accompaniments (green beans & kale), a result of trying to finish off a fridgeful of leftovers), I'd probably replace one of these veg with grilled peppers next time.
But there will be a next time, for sure. This is both a good way to use up leftover fish, whether cooked or raw and a speedy way to make up dinner from the pantry, assuming you generally keep a tin of salmon or tuna in there.

So thanks, Meg & Rob, for adding to our frugal festive feeds repertoire. Any others from the rest of you as summer's bounty lands on our kitchen counters?

11 comments:

  1. Great job mom and dad! those look tasty. As for more recipes... got any requests? Would you be interested in Rob and I doing a food post?

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  2. So nice to meet you, Jody here. Love fish and cakes so two of my fave things together...

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  3. Yummmm....

    I love fish cakes, or all kinds of similar things that use up left-over bits. These look and sound particularly yummy.

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  4. Yummy mater!
    Waste not want not...a clever use of salmon.
    Oh a greens, so healthy.

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  5. These look so good. I rarely have salmon to work with, but DH loves fish patties made from local fish he has canned. I shall add veggies the next time I make them.

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  6. Megan: You know I'd love that, and I think my readers would as well. Let's talk, girlie!
    Jody: So lovely of you to follow AND to leave a comment -- hello! I see you're also a mom of 4. I've only had time to have a quick peek at your blog, but it looks like a fun place and I'll be sure to spend more time there. Love the idea of the University summer camp -- what a great way to holiday together but get that so-important adult time.
    Mardel: I don't know why fish cakes have slipped out of the repertoire over the years, but they're back in now. Frugal and yummy.
    Hostess: As you know, it's such a treasure when you get a lovely chinook, don't want to waste a morsel.
    Terry: What does your husband can? My mother-in-law used to can her own salmon every year, dozens and dozens of jars, and we did too, a few years -- lots of work, but oh, the quality!

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  7. Well the cakes look photogenic to me! Yum. I want to come over for dinner :-).

    So the steps you described, what Paul did, that's basically the recipe? Or were there other details?

    You are lucky to have fishermen and cooks in your family!

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  8. How funny - we had fishcakes on Wednesday night! Not beautiful fresh caught fish, but tinned salmon. Delicious nonetheless ... Even Kid 2, a notoriously fussy eater, loves them.

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  9. Oh how fortunate you are to have wild caught salmon so
    readily available! The fish cakes look scrumptious, but the highlight of your postings this week would be the
    wedding photos. Megan is elegance personified in the photo on the couch and the mother/daughter photo brought tears to my eyes.

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  10. reminds me of dad.

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  11. Susan: That's basically it -- one of those recipes that's more conceptual than precise, so you just tinker according to your own ingredients. And yes, I think I'm super lucky!
    Tiffany: Canned salmon is what I always used to use, and now I'm wondering why I got away from making fishcakes with it. Tasty, nutritious, quick, and frugal! What's not to like?!
    Pavlova: We don't get a chinook like that donated v. often, but there's often wild sockeye if we're willing to pay its price and there's also the more affordable wild pink and then chum.
    As for the wedding photos, thanks for your kind words -- I have to say they made me rather emotional as well.
    Anonymous Sister: Me too -- and he would have made sure there was tartar sauce alongside, right?

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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