RCP / FoodLetter: Potato fish cakes

Everything about food, from matching food and wine to recipes, techniques and trends.

Moderators: Jenise, David M. Bueker, Robin Garr

RCP / FoodLetter: Potato fish cakes

Postby Robin Garr » Thu Jun 08, 2006 9:51 am

Potato fish cakes

First premise: Potato pancakes taste great.

Second premise: Fish cakes and crab cakes taste great.

Third premise: Fish and potatoes make a fine combo (think chowder, think fish'n'chips).

Synthesis: Merge fish cakes and potato cakes into potato fish cakes, and you might just be on to something memorable.

Faced with some leftover cooked halibut (yes, such a thing is possible, if you bought a lot) and a bag full of fine boiling potatoes, I fashioned a crispy set of German-style potato pancakes - plus fish - and found the result very pleasing indeed. I think you will, too. The textured presence of coarsely shredded potato and onion with the fish adds an extra dimension to the dish that I don't find in plain fish cakes. This one goes into the regular repertoire!

The procedure is reasonably easy and quick. It's based on the German-style potato pancakes featured in the Dec. 18, 2003 <i>FoodLetter</i>, with the ingredients tweaked a bit to accommodate the addition of flaked leftover white fish.

INGREDIENTS: (Serves two as a main dish or four as an appetizer)

1/2 of a large onion
1 egg yolk
8 ounces (240g) leftover white fish, such as halibut or cod
2 medium potatoes, about 3/4 to 1 pound (roughly 1/3 to 1/2 kilo)
1 tablespoon (15g) flour
Salt
Black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil

PROCEDURE:

1. Grate the onion, using the side of a box-type grater with the larger round holes. Separate the egg, discarding the white (or save it for another use if you're thrifty). Gently flake the fish. (I think mild white fish works best here, but you could probably use any kind of fish, or crab. Salmon might be interesting, resulting in something vaguely akin to your mother's salmon croquettes.)

2. Peel the potatoes and grate them into shreds, using the same grater holes. Wrap them in a large cloth napkin or dish towel and squeeze out and discard as much liquid as possible. Don't worry if some of the potato shreds turn reddish-brown from exposure to air. The pancakes will look fine. I prefer the texture of a waxy boiling potato in this dish, but a baking potato will work.

3. Stir together the potato shreds, the grated onion and the flour. Stir in the egg, add salt and pepper to taste, and gently mix in the flaked fish, stirring just enough to mix all the ingredients well.

4. Put a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Pour in the olive oil and spread it around with a paper towel. You don't need any more than is necessary to grease the pan evenly.

5. When the oil is hot, drop in tablespoons of the potato-and-fish mix, flattening them into thin rounds with the back of the spoon. Cook until browned on one side, then flip carefully and cook on the other. It shouldn't take more than five minutes in all to cook them through. Put the first batch of fish cakes on a serving plate and keep them in a warm oven while you make the next batch - I made eight small cakes with this recipe, in two batches of four each.

<B>WINE MATCH:</B> This dish should go nicely with just about any dry or off-dry wine as long as it's white. I paired it with the good-value Domaine de Pouy 2004 Vin de Pays des Côtes de Gascogne featured in the June 2, 2004 <I>30 Second Wine Advisor</I>. A crisp, dry sparkling wine - a Prosecco, maybe - would also hit the spot.
User avatar
Robin Garr
Forum Janitor
 
Posts: 17034
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 2:44 pm
Location: Louisville, KY

Re: RCP / FoodLetter: Potato fish cakes

Postby Jenise » Fri Jun 09, 2006 12:56 pm

Fish and potatoes have a long history in Spain's bacalao-based fritters and in France's classic brandades (though I've heard some argue a true brandade does not include but egg and cream). And Wolfgang Puck claims that fish crusted with grated potatoes and pan-fried is a typical Austrian preparation, one he group up with. The first time I encountered the combination of these two ingredients was in one of his restaurants--a potato gallette topped with slices of smoked sturgeon and dollop of creme fraiche and caviar which I believe he called an "Austrian Blini".

It's probably true that just about anywhere fish and potatoes are available, someone's figured out a way to combine them. You're putting Louisville on a pretty good map with your interesting and clever way to use leftover fish. I've never recooked fish--I presume it doesn't have any of the kind of off flavors that recooked meats have? (I hate recooked meats, unless they were braised or stewed).
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
Jenise
FLDG Dishwasher
 
Posts: 26199
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 3:45 pm
Location: The Pacific Northest Westest

Re: RCP / FoodLetter: Potato fish cakes

Postby Robin Garr » Thu Jun 22, 2006 9:45 am

Jenise wrote:I've never recooked fish--I presume it doesn't have any of the kind of off flavors that recooked meats have? (I hate recooked meats, unless they were braised or stewed).


Oops, bringing this one back from the past ... I must have missed your question before, Jenise, sorry. Looks like it was posted while I was on my way to Niagara.

Short answer: Indeed I am very wary of leftover fish, more so than meat, which does not bother me in recooking although I do like to use more flavorful sauces/spiced preparations, etc. But in this instance the halibut had been super-fresh, and there was just too much of it to eat on the first night when I sauteed it very simply in OO with just a light dredge of flour, salt and pepper and a squirt of lemon. I made the fish cakes the very next night, and frankly, it occurred to me that I would be less skittish about it in a potato pancake than I would as a piece of fish on my plate.
User avatar
Robin Garr
Forum Janitor
 
Posts: 17034
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 2:44 pm
Location: Louisville, KY


Return to The Forum Kitchen

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests