By Jane Mundy
When I was growing up, it seemed as if my mother made fish cakes several times a week, so they didn’t get me too excited. But she probably didn’t have the ingredients to give her recipe zing. This one gets its heat from the spicy mayonnaise and is enhanced by fresh herbs. A green salad would complement this dish. I recall that at home we had butter lettuce with Crosse & Blackwell salad cream. (Not too exciting.)
Makes 4 main-course or 8 appetizer servings
1 cup good-quality mayonnaise
2 tbsp prepared hot horseradish
Juice of 1 lemon
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
3/4 pound cooked white fish (any variety), and/or any smoked fish fillet
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
1 tbsp capers, drained and chopped
zest of 1 lemon
2 medium egg yolks
1 tsp kosher salt, plus more if needed
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more if needed
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp all-purpose flour, for dusting the cakes
Make the horseradish mayonnaise: In a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, horseradish and lemon juice. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Cover the horseradish mayonnaise and refrigerate until you are ready to serve it.
Make the fish cakes: In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the potatoes until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain the potatoes well and return them to the pot. Mash the potatoes; transfer to a large bowl and set aside, covered.
Pick through the fish, removing any skin and bones. Flake the fish into chunks. In the bowl containing the mashed potatoes, add the fish, parsley, dill, capers, lemon zest, egg yolks, salt and pepper. Gently fold the ingredients to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Shape the mixture into eight fish cakes (about the diameter of a golf ball and about 1 inch/2.5 cm thick). Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes or overnight.
In a large frying pan or sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Dust the fish cakes with a little flour and, working in batches of four, fry them until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Serve with lemon wedges and horseradish mayonnaise.
Recipe adapted from The Ocean Wise Cookbook: Seafood Recipes That Are Good for the Planet, edited by Jane Mundy. Whitecap Books, 2010.