Fabulous Fishcakes with Foaming Cream Sauce

This is another exercise in being sneaky with the ingredients but it results in a batch of luxurious fishcakes good enough to serve at a dinner party but a real crowd pleaser with the children. The cream sauce is actually liquidised veg for the most part but if you don’t tell them neither will I. For the fish I visit the freezer department where it seems to be cheaper to buy large quantities as well as minimum faff in preparation. This is not a recipe to get your knickers in a twist about – a little bit more or less of any of the ingredients is not the end of the world.

Unusually for me this requires a load of pots and pans on the go before you can sit and enjoy these but in this case I think it’s worth it. The point is to cook each individual component for maximum flavour and you are left with super tasty, light and fluffy fishcakes with a crunchy exterior.

Fabulous Fishcakes (Makes 20)

400g skinless, boneless haddock fillets

400g skinless, boneless smoked haddock fillets

1 packet smoked kipper fillets

1.25 litres semi skimmed milk

1kg floury potatoes ie Maris Piper

1 x 400g tin Cannellini beans

a handful of chopped flat leafed parsley

2 eggs hard boiled

Crust

300g granary bread crumbs

1 x tsp garlic granules

3 tbsp sesame seeds

2 eggs whisked with a little milk

Sauce

2 large leeks, sliced

1 tbsp butter

1 tbsp coconut oil

Good glug of white wine

500ml vegetable stock

1 tbsp wholemeal flour

150ml low fat creme fraîche

Start with the fish and pop all the frozen fillets in a large pot with the milk and simmer gently until the fish is cooked and starting to flake apart. I had a microwave bag of kippers and gave them a blast for 2 1/2 minutes. When cooked, take the fish out with a slotted spoon and put in a large mixing bowl to cool. Reserve the liquid for later.

Meanwhile, boil the potatoes and when nearly cooked, tip in the Cannellini beans to warm up. Drain and shake to fluff up.

When they’ve let off a bit of steam, mash, cool and add to the mixing bowl. 

In a separate bowl, mix the garlic granules, seeds and breadcrumbs and stir to combine. Set aside. Whisk the 2 remaining eggs with the milk into another small bowl.

Chop the eggs and the parsley and add to the bowl. Season all well with sea salt flakes and freshly ground pepper. Now, take your rings off and get your hands in there to combine all the ingredients or mix with a large fork (I used a salad server).

Divide the mixture into equally sized balls – I use an ice cream scoop. Coat with the egg and then roll in the seeded breadcrumb mixture. Lay as many as you need to serve on a lined baking tray and spray with oil. Pop into the oven (Gas 6/200) for 30 minutes or until golden. Put the rest in a storage container and keep in the freezer until needed.

Alternatively, if you’re not going to get stressed about calories, you can shallow or deep fry.

While the fishcakes are lurking in the oven, make the sauce. Melt the coconut oil and the butter in a large frying or sautè pan and then add the chopped leeks. Coat and cook gently until they take on a bright colour. Splash in the white wine and reduce. Add in the flour and stir.

Gradually add the reserved milk stock and the vegetable stock When combined, stir in the creme fraîche. Simmer for 5 minutes or so and take off the heat before you liquidise with a hand blender. Alternatively, leave to cool and pop the lot into a blender in 2/3 batches. Return to the pan to warm through.

You can plate these as you wish – pop them on a bed of spinach salad or with a side of steamed broccoli. It should leave you with a smug feeling as you pop the freezer batch away – they make a fabulous family dinner and kids of all ages wolf them down.

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