I love a nice little fish cake. If you have never made one, here is how I make mine. Easy peasy I promise you.
Dry mashed potato. I steam mine (roughly 500g floury potatoes make 8 fish cakes, so two per portion, I made two days' dinners ) and then mash. Don't add any butter or milk.
Fish. I made these with smoked mackerel, skinned, flaked and any odd bones removed. And a can of crab lumpmeat I received in a hamper, too tasteless to eat on its own, but good to add texture and a little more bite to the mix. Or you could use tinned tuna or salmon. Or any fresh fish, lightly poached. Or kippers... You want about half the volume of the potato in fish.
Seasonings: I love smokey flavours so added a couple of tablespoons of Halen Môn Smoked Water - really good stuff! I love Alison's salts and this fabulous foodie ingredient really made a difference to the flavour.But don't fret if you don't have it, add a little more pepper instead.
I finely chopped and fried a shallot until crisp and added that with a tablespoon or so of chopped parsley.
Mix this all lightly in a bowl, and chill for a bit until thoroughly cold.
Make smallish patties, flour them lightly and pop on a plate, back into the fridge for about half an hour.
Egg and Breadcrumb: Lightly whisk an egg and a splash of water, get a plate with plenty of dry breadcrumbs ( I like panko crumbs , and am delighted that they are now available in Sainsbury's and Waitrose so I don't have to order them from the Japanese shops) . Dip in the egg and then the crumbs, don't press the crumbs too hard, you want to keep the insides nice and light.
Back on the plate and back in the fridge for another half an hour (or until dinner time, they will keep for ages, even overnight, or you can freeze at this stage. So you could make the fish cakes when you have time, and save the hassle later on at dinner time.)
Frying: an inch of rape seed oil in a frying pan, heat until hot but not smoking and fry on each side until golden. The insides are cooked so you are really just interested in a nice even golden crumb, you don't have to cook the insides. I then pop the finished fish cakes on a baking tray into the oven on a lowish heat whilst I make the salad, the flatbreads and the tartare sauce.
Flatbreads: I was making bread today so used a lump of my usual milk bread rolled into golf balls and then patted flat and cooked on a dry frying pan like these ones.
Tartare sauce: I don't buy tartare sauce any more. It's too easy to make, Half and half mayonnnaise and Greek yoghurt, with chopped gherkins, capers and a little shallot. Maybe a bit of herbs if I am in the mood and they are about.
There you are! It takes time yes, but hassle .. no!