Salmon Fish-Cakes

Last weekend’s cheer-up-Tuesy charm offensive delivered its grand finale on Sunday evening. Stop me if I sound too boastful, but I was very happy with how this turned out – for an amateur cook, it’s always exciting when a recipe really works, and there are few cooks more amateur than me…

Prepare your fish-cake mixture 2-3 hours before you plan to cook them (they take a little under half an hour to bake). To make enough fish-cakes for four people you will need:
900g maris piper potatoes
900f salmon fillets
Juice of 1 lemon
4tbsp mayonnaise
pinch of cayenne pepper
large pinch of chilli powder (more if you like spiciness)
2 tbsp of chopped herbs (I used flat flat-leaf parsley, but tarragon or basil will work just as well
2 tbsp chilli oil.
Peel the potatoes, chop them into quarters and boil them. Once boiled to softness, drain away the water, and return to heat for a couple of minutes to dry them out. Then mash ’em. With a masher.
While the spuds are boiling, put your salmon and half the lemon juice into a pan with a pint of cold water. Bring it just to the boil and leave to stand in the water for a few minutes. It’ll cook just enough in the remaining heat. Then drain the salmon, peel off the skin and flake it. It’s good not to mash it up too much – the fish-cakes are delicious if you can still feel the “meatiness” of the fish (you don’t want them to be too smooth).

Mix the salmon with the mashed potatoes and add the spices and herbs, the lemon juice and the mayonnaise. Mix well and season with salt and pepper.
Now make your fish-cakes on a non-stick baking tray. I lined my tray with non-stick baking paper, which worked a treat. If you’re good with your hands, you can pat the mixture into eight thick cakes (maybe 2cm deep). If you have a large round biscuit/cookie cutter, you can use that to get them into a nice shape. I used a non-stick heart-shaped fried egg shaper, meaning that my cakes looked like this:
Not too shabby. Put your tray of fish-cakes in the fridge for a couple of hours. This will firm them up ready to be baked. Once they’re ready, drizzle the chilli oil on top and bake at 200 degrees centigrade or until they go brown and a bit crispy on the outside. I served these with mangetout and baby corn and a little rocket. You can serve them with whatever you like. Nobody’s checking.
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