Friday, 28 February 2014

One Pan Fish Cake

Before I start I'd just like to point out that the name of this recipe is a bit of misnomer - the dish is finished and served in one pan but does use two more during the preparation so maybe it should be called Three Pan Fish Cake but that's not quite so catchy! Don't worry though - it's not difficult and it's totally delicious and well worth the effort. 

I've been making this recipe for ages - it's from a Gary Rhodes cookbook I've had for years. He calls it Whole Round Fish Cake with Melting Swiss Cheese. I don't use Swiss Cheese so I could have called it Whole Round Fish Cake with Cheddar but in our house we call it One Pan Fish Cake and I think that's just fine.

I like to make it with Salmon and Smoked Haddock but most thick fleshy fish would be great in this. I got some fabulously fresh and good quality local fish from the Brown Bag Seafood Company whose van was parked up at one of the local farm shops and which made this dish extra special. If it needs to be made in a hurry even a couple of tins of tuna might work but I'd personally go for fresh fish every time. When it's ready just plonk the pan in the middle of the table with some good crusty bread and let everyone tuck in!

One Pan Fish Cake Recipe

Notes: According to the recipe this should serve 4-6 but it's so delicious in our house it only stretches to 3! I've used dried tarragon because I think it tastes as good as fresh in this but if you have fresh then use it! If I've just made fresh mashed potato and it's still hot I sometimes miss out stage 7 below but be careful - you don't want cold fish cake. Don't worry too much about being precise with the measures detailed below - a bit more or a bit less of anything is okay.


50g butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
350g salmon fillet
350g smoked haddock fillet
300ml white wine
bunch of spring onions, shredded
675g mashed potatoes
1tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1tsp dried tarragon 
1tbsp olive oil
50-100g grated Cheddar cheese
Salt and Pepper


Preheat the oven to 200°C / 400°F / Gas Mark 4. Have some mashed potato you made earlier at the ready.

1. Place the fish in a lightly buttered ovenproof dish, season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with the onion and pour over the white wine.

The fish before it goes into the oven to cook

2. Cover with foil and place in the oven - bake for around 20 minutes until the fish is cooked.

3. Turn the oven down to 180°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4 and remove the fish from the dish before pouring the wine, onion and fish residue into a small saucepan, bring it to the boil and reduce it by half to three-quarters.

4. Melt a knob of the butter in a non-stick ovenproof (very important!) frying pan and add the spring onions. Cook for a few minutes until softened then remove them and leave them to cool.

5. Break the salmon and haddock flesh into small chunks - removing any bones - and mix half with the  mashed potato. Add the spring onions, reduced wine mixture and herbs. Season well with salt and pepper.

6. Melt the remaining butter in  the ovenproof pan the spring onions were fried in and spoon in the fish cake mixture. Pan-fry over a medium heat for 8-10 minutes until the base becomes golden brown.

7. Cover with foil and place in the oven for 15 minutes until thoroughly warmed through. 

8. Remove the foil and cover the top with the remaining chunks of fish then sprinkle with the grated cheese. Place under a preheated grill to melt the cheese.

Ready just to be finished under the grill

9. Serve.

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