A great recipe for Easter Saturday lunch – smoked haddock fish cakes served with mustard mayonnaise. These are gorgeous, creamy, light, little fishcakes. Their lack of stodginess makes them rather difficult to handle, but persevere. The important points are to keep the fish in nice big flakes and to chill the cakes before cooking them. They’re also delicious served with hollandaise or parsley sauce instead of the mustard mayo. Offer some baby gem, pea & radish salad on the side.
For the fish cakes
500g (1lb 2oz) potatoes, unpeeled
275g (9¾oz) smoked haddock fillet
150ml (5fl oz) milk
35g (1¼oz) butter
1 onion, finely chopped
150g (5½oz) spinach, washed
seasoned flour for dusting
1 egg, beaten
breadcrumbs from 2 slices white bread (crusts removed)
4 tbsp sunflower or groundnut oil, for frying
For the mayonnaise
175g (6oz) good-quality mayonnaise
1 tbsp grain mustard
3 tbsp double cream or crème fraîche
Put the potatoes on to boil, then place the haddock in a separate pan with the milk. Bring the milk up to the boil, then immediately turn down the heat very low. Cover and poach for five minutes. Remove the skin from the fish and fork the flesh into large flakes. Keep the poaching liquor. Once the potatoes are tender, drain and remove the skins. Mash the flesh with two thirds of the butter and 2 tbsp of the poaching milk. Season and leave to cool.
Sauté the onion in the rest of the butter till soft but not coloured. Put the spinach into a separate pan with 1 tbsp water, cover and cook for 1½ minutes on a very low heat. Squeeze all the water out of the cooked spinach and chop roughly.
Mix the potato with the onion and spinach then carefully incorporate the fish. Be careful to keep the flakes large and not to overwork the mixture. Flour your hands and form the mixture into 16 little cakes about 8cm (3in) across. Dust each one in seasoned flour and chill for 30 minutes.
To make the mustard mayonnaise just stir all the ingredients together.
Dip each cake in beaten egg and then in breadcrumbs and fry in hot oil for a couple of minutes each side. Serve with the mustard mayonnaise and some baby gem, pea & radish salad.