Category Archives: Lunch & Dinner

Smoked fish cakes

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Even though all time is born equal, I’m sure that Sunday afternoon is formed by hours which have a larger allocation of minutes than normal hours, I’m also sure that Sunday afternoon minutes, have double the amount of seconds than regular minutes.

And if I may add, I also have the theory (not scientifically proven, mind) that when it rains, the amount of minutes per hour increase exponentially.  So, here I am, on a rainy Sunday afternoon, trying to fill seconds that last minutes and minutes that last hours.

I decided that a way to do this in a productive manner would be to try my hand at something new, so I went back to a list I had compiled last year of basic dishes I should know how to cook but I don’t, and the first item on the list was fish cakes. I love fish cakes but I always buy the ones I find at the supermarket, I don’t know why I never tried and make my own. It turned out they are super easy to make.

They freeze really well, so great to cook them ahead of time and have them ready for an emergency.

Ingredients (8-10 fish cakes):

500g potatoes, peeled and chopped.

200g smoked fish, flaked. (I used mackerel, because I love smocked mackerel)

3 spring onions, thinly sliced.

2 cloves of garlic, chopped.

Half a red pepper, chopped.

A handful of parsley, chopped.

Zest of one lemon.

2 eggs, lightly whisked.

1 tablespoon of cornstarch (if you don’t have, replace by 2 tbsp of plain flour).

1/2 teaspoon of salt.

1/2 teaspoon of black pepper.

1 teaspoon of smoked paprika.

1 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs.

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How to:

1.- Place the potatoes in a pan, cover with water, add a pinch of salt and boil for half an hour, or until soft. Drain the water and mash.

2.- Season the mash with the salt, pepper and paprika.

3.-  Add the remaining ingredients  (except for the breadcrumbs) to the mashed potatoes and mix well. You’ll end up with a mix that looks like this:

IMG_1021 4.- Scoop out 1/3 cup portions of fishcake mixture and shape into patties using your hands. Carefully cover each patty in breadcrumbs.

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5.- Lightly oil a baking tray and cook your fishcakes in a pre-heated oven at 180 C for 20 minutes or until golden brown. If you want to cook from frozen, just pop them in the oven, switch it on, and cook for 30 minutes (that’s how long it took for me to go from frozen to golden). They taste delicious! And they are a great light lunch with some salad.

IMG_1043Enjoy! 🙂

Paula

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Veggie burgers for a fuss-free, meat-free dinner.

2015-05-26 19.59.01-1What a blustery, rainy day in London! I feel like staying in the house all day drinking tea and reading. On days like this I wish I had a library with a fireplace, or at least a library…or just a fireplace…(sigh).

Anyway, this post is not about the day, or my need for a library or a fireplace, but rather about this recipe for vegetable burgers which are surprisingly tasty, not to mention incredibly easy to make.

If you have a food processor, you can skip some of the chopping and mashing. Just pop everything in.

Ingredients:

1 small tin of red kidney beans (I used Tesco’s 210g tin).

1 small tin of cannelini beans (I used Tesco’s 210g tin).

Alternatively, you could just use 1 big tin (approx. 400g) of either of those.

1 small onion (150g approx.), peeled and finely chopped.

1 small beetroot (150g approx), grated or chopped as finely as you can.

2 cloves of garlic, chopped.

1 1/2  teaspoon of ground cumin.

1 bunch of fresh parsley, chopped.

1 heaped teaspoon of flour, plus some more to shape the burgers.

Sunflower oil to cook the burgers in.

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How to:

1.- Drain the kidney beans and rinse in cold water. Put into a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes to soften.

2.- Add one tablespoon of oil to a frying pan and place over a medium heat.  Add the cumin first, and give it one minute to release its aroma. Then add the garlic, onion, beetroot, and parsley. Cook for a few minutes.

3.- When the kidney beans have softened, drain well and add to the frying pan. Remove from the heat and mash together until you have a smooth(ish) puree, a bit like mashed potatoes with bits. Season with salt and pepper.

Stir in the flour to stiffen. Let the mixture cool, the colder it is, the easier it will be to handle. If you can make it in advance and leave on the fridge for an hour, that will make your life super easy.

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4.- Take a quarter of the burger mixture and roll it into a ball, then flatten and shape like a burger. Place aside. Make more burgers with the remaining mixture.

5.- Now, place a frying pan over a medium heat and add some oil (1 or 2 tablespoons, depending on the size of your frying pan, it has to be nicely coated so that the burgers can get crispy).

6.- Now, add some flour into a dish or bowl and place each burger in turn on the flour on both sides before putting them on the frying pan.

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7.- Cook for a few minutes on one side, before turning.

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The burgers need to be handled with care as they can be quite fragile. When cooked and slightly crisp on both sides, remove from the pan and serve.

You can make some roasted potatoes which go really nice with these burger. Enjoy!

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