Not writing anything on C&T for these past two weeks has been a strange experience. Last year I took a month-long break during all of August to focus on moving and trying to settle back in after the UK. This time things are very different and difficult. To say that these past few days have been tough doesn’t even begin to describe it. My maternal grandmother passed away early Sunday morning. Her funeral was held last Monday, giving us almost no time to process this loss. My grandma had been sick for 13 years – in fact, the last time I remember her being ok was at my wedding. I remember my mum asking me to go hug her before my going away. For some reason that comes to mind every time I think of her. Somehow I managed a reading during the funeral service and kept calm, but I couldn’t help feeling upset by the end of it. What I can say for sure is that I feel deeply thankful for being able to be there during her last days with us. She is now at peace.
I think that comfort food does not necessarily mean fatty food. Fish cakes are packed with good energy without the heaviness of any meat. Not that I don’t like meat patties once in a while, but these are a great alternative, and can be eaten in summer and also during the dreary winter months. I love them and hope you do too. This recipe makes around 14 100g cakes. However you can make them as small as you like for parties and picnics. Here’s what you need:
- 750g potatoes (cooked, mashed with 15g butter and cooled)
- 550g white fish (I used pollock)
- 200g breadcrumbs
- ¼ teaspoon chilli powder
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- grated zest of 1 lemon
- 1 egg for binding
- Place some flour in a small bowl. Mix all the ingredients well in a large bowl.
- Flour your hands to avoid extra stickiness and using a ½ cup measure if you have one (or measure 100g per patty) spoon the measured mixture into your hands to form one fish cake. Then dip this into the flour to coat.
- Pat each cake to remove the excess flour, place on a plate or flat dish and repeat until all the mixture is used up. Cover the fish cakes with cling film and place in the fridge for around 30 minutes to help them cool and firm up. This will help them remain whole in the frying pan and in the oven after that.
- At this stage you can preheat the oven to 170ºC. Place about a tablespoon of oil and a small knob of butter into a shallow pan and fry the cooled fish cakes on both sides, giving them around 5 to 6 minutes per side. Put them into a lined baking dish and finish them in the oven for 15 minutes, or until they turn golden brown on top.
Serve with a green salad and some Halloumi cheese, but my favourite way to eat this is in between some fresh wholemeal bread with a light spread of mayo!
I’ve been MIA these past couple of weeks. J has been on leave and it’s nice to take a break from the computer screen sometimes. What I’m finding difficult is to get into non-holiday mode again, if you know what I mean. Now who wants to stay inside when the Sun’s shining? Not me! So keeping in mind the holidays, a birthday celebration and of course a certain Royal Wedding, here’s my little gift to you.
This is a sweet little recipe from James Tanner and his recently published book James Tanner Takes 5. It’s one of my favourite books, firstly because it’s got photos for every recipe. I’m just a home cook so you can forgive me for saying that. I also love it because the pages are not glossy, so you can see the pages clearly in artificial light. I hate it when I’m flipping through a recipe book late in the evening and have to adjust the angle of the page because I’m blinded by the reflection of light in my eyes! So for me this is a winner. So please chefs, less gloss, more umph!
This is hardly a recipe; it’s assembly takes seconds but it’s really tasty – if cheese is your thing. It makes great party food and it’s an ideal snack for sharing. To avoid double dipping (I hate that) give everyone a teaspoon and a small ramekin if serving at the table. All you need are four ingredients. How neat is that!
- 250g camembert (in it’s wooden box)
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
- Preheat your oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6. Remove any wax packaging from around the cheese and also the wooden lid. Replace the wax paper with a square piece of kitchen foil big enough to loosely wrap the cheese in. Place the camembert inside the foil and again in the box.
- On the surface of the cheese score a few lines with a sharp knife and insert the slices of garlic. Sprinkle with thyme and pour over the maple syrup or honey. Scrunch the foil to cover the cheese (remember: not to tight). Place the lot into a baking dish and bake for around 15 minutes until the cheese is soft and spreadable on the inside.
Serve this with some baguettes. Easy!