Sweet Potato Fish Cakes

Sweet potato fish cakes with a delicious garlic and chilli sauce.

A very easy to make recipe for restaurant standard fish cakes. Using tinned salmon and crab along with a few kitchen essentials, this recipe is a real winner. The sauce made from butter, garlic, chilli, lemon, white wine, fish stock, parsley, tarragon and diced tomato completes the dish.

The two most important things are to make sure the sweet potato mash is as dry as possible and also to avoid the temptation to turn them too early in the pan – otherwise they will not hold together as you cook. Please don’t mistake the colouration for burning, it’s this crust that holds the cakes together.

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This recipe makes 6-8 fishcakes

Ingredients and method

For the Fish Cakes:

750g Sweet potatoes – peel and thinly slice

250g shredded crab meat – 2 small tins drained of brine

200-225g red salmon – 1 small tin drained of brine

1/2 tsp sweet smoked paprika

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

25-50g breadcrumbs – see notes below

2- 4 tbsp. oil  to pan fry – I used Scottish rapeseed oil.

You require a food processor for this recipe

 

For the Sauce:

2 round tomatoes – diced

1/3 glass of dry white wine

3 cloves garlic – crush or finely chop

1 red chilli – deseed and finely chop

200ml fish stock

1 tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice

1/2 tsp dried tarragon

1/2 tsp dried parsley

10-15g butter

Freshly ground black pepper – to taste

 

Method: Start by par boiling the sliced sweet potatoes – put them in a pan of cold water, heat through to the boil then simmer for 7-8 minutes. Drain them then put them back in the dry pan over a low heat for a few minutes (shaking the pan occasionally), then turn off hob and let the residual heat dry the potatoes. If they still seem wet leave them on the heat for a few more minutes. It is vital to dry the potatoes out as much as possible.

Once dried and cooled transfer the potatoes into a food processor. Add 25g breadcrumbs, 1/2 tsp black pepper, the crab and salmon and blitz until combined into a smooth paste. Check the consistency of the paste – you want it to be thick enough that patties can be formed in your hands without them immediately falling apart. If when you test the mixture it seems too wet add the rest of the breadcrumbs as they will absorb the excess moisture.

Start forming the fish cakes – you want them to be about 3cm thick and slightly wider than a standard coffee mug. Don’t make them much bigger or thicker than this as they may not hold together when cooked if they are too big or cook in the middle if they are too thick. See the picture at the top for an example of size. AS you form each one set aside on a plate ready to pan fry.

Before pan frying the fish cakes start to make the sauce as you want the sauce to reduce and intensify in flavour. Start by melting the butter in a small frying pan (a wide pan will reduce far quicker than a saucepan) then add the garlic and chilli then fry for 3-4 minutes stirring frequently. Next add the white wine and cook it off for a few minutes, then add the fish stock along with the dried herbs. Stir well and leave sauce simmering on a medium low heat for 10-15 minutes or until it has reduced by half. Turn off the heat as the sauce will be reheated when the fish cakes are ready – the tomatoes, pepper and lemon juice are added as the sauce

To pan fry the fish cakes – use a wide plat non stick frying pan, take care not to overload the pan as you need enough room to flip the fish cakes, cook in batches of max 4 if using a 30cm frying pan like me. Heat 2 tbsp. oil in the frying pan over a medium high heat. Add the fish cakes one at a time, giving them a final squeeze into shape just as you add them into the pan. They will need approx. 4 minutes on first side – the clue that they are ready is you should be able to see the crust forming on the edges and the cakes should easily slide on the pan. It is vital not to turn them too early as the cakes will either fall apart or loose shape. Once turned they should cook slightly quicker on the other side – approx. 3 minutes . Again the fish cakes will slide easily on the pan when the crust is formed and they are ready. Transfer to the plate ready to serve, or place on a baking tray and keep in a warm oven if you are making two batches.

To finish the sauce – heat the sauce through over a medium heat, once hot add 1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice and the diced tomatoes, stir through the sauce and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes. You want to warm the tomatoes through but not cook them, they bring a freshness and balance to the rich slightly acidic sauce. Add a little freshly ground black pepper to taste, then get ready to serve.

Place the cooked fish cakes on a serving plate and spoon some of the sauce over the fish cakes and onto the plate as shown in the pictures. Enjoy!

 

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Thai Pork Schnitzel with red curry sauce

A breaded pork schnitzel fried in lemongrass flavoured oil, served on a bed of jasmine rice and covered in a red curry sauce.

Delicious crispy on the outside and juicy inside pork goes so well with a flavoursome red curry sauce. The curry sauce is a well balanced mixture of 22 ingredients!

A fusion of Austrian and Thai cuisine. My photos really don’t do this fantastic dish any justice – it was truly delicious. Please give it a try and you will see!

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Serves two people

preparation time 20 minutes, cooking 20 minutes

 

Ingredients

approx 390g Pork fillet – see instructions below

2 portions of rice – I used Jasmin but basmati or long grain also works

2 lime wedges – to serve

1 egg – lightly beaten in a bowl

flour – in a bowl to coat pork

Panko breadcrumbs – in a bowl to coat pork

2-3 sticks lemon grass – bruise with rolling pin

vegetable oil to shallow fry – 3-4cm depth in frying pan

Salt and pepper – to lightly season flour

For the pork – Cut in half, fold each half in parchment paper then using a rolling pin beat the pork fillet until it is flat and tender, so it is around 2cm thick. Give it a good beating as this will also tenderise the meat. Once flat coat each piece in flour, then dip in the egg then into the breadcrumbs making sue all sides are coated in breadcrumbs. Then dip back into the egg then back into the breadcrumbs, double dipping helps ensure a nice coating. Cover and set aside ready for cooking.

For the curry sauce:

100ml coconut cream – do not add this to the paste

2 sticks lemon grass – bruise, inner part only

Thumb ginger – peel, chop to make forming paste easier

Bulb garlic

3 large red chillies

1 medium red onion

3 Tbsp cashew nuts

3 lime leafs

1/2 tsp ground Cinnamon

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp paprika

3 green cardamom pods

4 cloves

1 tsp crushed chillies

2 dessert spoon brown sugar

1 desert chilli paste

3 dessert spoons desiccated coconut

2 Tbsp fish sauce

1 tsp shrimp paste

4 black peppercorns

3 dessert spoons vegetable oil

Method: Use a mini blender (or mortar and pestle) to form a smooth curry paste from the ingredients – do not add the coconut cream to the paste.

 

Cooking instructions

  1.  Start by making the curry sauce as this can be heat through just before serving. In a wok  and fry the curry paste over a high heat for 7-8 minutes, until it is aromatic and moves round an as a single mass. Many Thai chefs will fry the curry paste until it starts to split from the oil.
  2. Add the coconut cream, saving a small amount to drizzle over the final dish. Stir well then remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Cook rice as per packet instructions.
  4. Heat oil (approx 3cm deep) in a large flat frying pan. Place the lemon grass sticks in the oil as it heats so it flavours the oil. Heat over a high heat until the oil is sizzling hot and keep hob on high throughout the cooking.
  5. Add the pork schnitzle to the oil (lay it away from you to avoid oil splashes) and fry on each side for approx 3 minutes until the panko is golden brown and crispy. Remove the pork from the oil and drain on absorbent paper.
  6. Heat the curry sauce through. Place a bed of rice on the plate, the schnitzle on top then pour some sauce over the top. Serve with a wedge of lime and enjoy!