Thursday, 4 July 2013

Trout and Horseradish Fishcakes

Whilst I love fish, I really can't stand the bones! Silly I know but the thought has me gagging! I have slowly learned to enjoy cooking and eating Seabass on the bone and got fairly adequate at removing the flesh cleanly, and when my boyfriend spotted two whole trout with a yellow sticker on, we nabbed them for the freezer and had similar thoughts... I hadn't really eaten Trout before, apart from trying a teeny piece of my aunt's in a restaurant so was looking quite forward to trying it out at home..

On the previous night, I had thawed the trout and stuffed them with a mixture of fried pancetta, garlic, rosemary in butter and then baked them in the oven, and served up with mashed potato. Unfortunately I found the trout so bony it put me off eating it, but not wanting to waste anything, I let it cool down then painstakingly removed all the bones and popped the leftover fish into the fridge whilst deciding how best to reinvent it! In all honesty too I wasn't wowed by the trout, and not sure will buy it again but the fishcakes were an excellent end to my fishies journey!

The idea of fishcakes came to mind as purposely I had made extra mashed potato also the previous night, and that I am rather partial to homemade fishcakes, and with my darling being also open to the idea, assembled them along with a few odd bits from the fridge. I always think of myself as a bit of a magpie with cooking, borrowing ideas from here and there and often store up ideas, because I am really not quite sure what prompted me to use horseradish but it worked a treat, adding a nice little kick!

A new toy I recently got sent was also the making of the dish - my 'Masha'! Oh where have you been all my life?! I really loathe certain kitchen tasks, grating being one but my main is mashing potato! All that effort gaining popeye like muscles and ending up with lumpy mash has resulted in me very rarely making it! In fact if it wasn't for the boyfriend asking for mashed potatoes I could have carried on quite happily never mashing potatoes again! Fortunately fate stepped in with the arrival of my Masha, and I am now more than happy to make mash!

You may be somewhat skeptical, a bit like me as to whether one can really justify more kitchen tools but I actually sold my blender to make space for this. Perfectly smooth potatoes, literally in seconds. Apparently it does lots of other clever things too, including pastry, houmous and cakes. The magic part is that is doesn't have blades to reduce your ingredients to smoosh, it works by literally pushing for example the potato through small holes, thus not breaking up the gluten, and making the equivalent of wallpaper paste! I had left the skin on my potatoes when boiling, so was even more of a test of the machine but it coped perfectly, not to mention more nutritious too!

The resulting fishcakes were delicious, the nice spicy kick from the horseradish gently warms the tongue without ruining the flavour's of the trout. We recently moved house, and my dear neighbour and long time friend Ces happened to pop in whilst I was finishing making them and I gave her two for her husbands dinner, which apparently went down so well she now has to make them again! Though this time I have volunteered to do the mash!

Makes 6, serve 2 per person

Mixture:360g cold mashed potato
70g leftover cooked trout finely flaked
3 tbsp soft cheese or similar ingredient
1 spring onion finely chopped
S&p to taste
1 tsp lemon juice (from a bottle is fine!)
2 tsp creamed horseradish

Coating:1 beaten egg
Bowl of fine breadcrumbs
Pinch of s&p

Start by preparing a foil lined tray

Gently combine all the mixture ingredients until its thick but smooth enough to shape. Form a large ball into a 'cake' shape, toss in the egg and gently pat on the breadcrumbs and repeat to make a total of six fishcakes, spray with a little cooking oil. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Now with regards to cooking, you can oven bake or grill. My 'new' oven is actually an antique and they frankly just would not brown, and after a good 30 minutes got grilled to give them a firmer crust and better colour. However my lovely neighbour has a fan oven, and after less than 30 minutes in a hot oven, her two were perfect!

Alongside the fishcakes, I served honey roasted sweet potato chunks, braised cabbage and topped with a fried egg. And it was all delicious!

Many thanks to Dianne Kenyon for my Masha!

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