Saturday, 25 September 2010

Gone fishing: Smoked mackerel and bacon cakes

I'd never had fish cakes until a couple of years ago. Really. I'm not sure why or how, I guess I was more a battered fish and chips kind of child, but they are a midweek meal revelation. Meat and potatoes in one dish! You don't even need a side, it's all there self-contained in one plump little pattie. Weaning myself in on M&S ones, it was high time to graduate to making my own, step in Nigel Slater's...

Smoked mackerel and bacon cakes
Serves 4 (here I halved quanities for 2)

400g floury potatoes
150g smoked streaky bacon
3 spring onions
1tbsp olive oil
250g smoked mackerel flesh
oil for cooking
flour for dusting
lemon halves to serve

Peel and pop the potatos on to boil. While they're simmering away put the bacon and roughly chopped spring onions in the food processor and whizz until they look soft and sort of crumbly (left).

Once the potatoes are boiled, drain and mash away. Fry up the onions and bacon mix in oil until golden and tasty smelling and then tip them into the mashed potato. Flake the mackerel flesh into the mix and stir through, seasoning with a bit of salt and pepper.

Now for the fun part, flour up a backing tray and with floury hand shape your patties and leave on the tray in a cool place (I went for by an open window) for 20 minutes.

Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in a frying pan. dust each cake with some of the flour from the tray and pop in the hot oil. Fry for a about 4 minutes on each side until they are crisp and golden, mmmm. Serve with the lemon half, some salad and, if you are feeling well crazy, some creme fraiche or tartare sauce. Yum.

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