Fish pie has to be one of my ultimate comfort food dishes but for lighter and brighter days this dish is the perfect solution for those still craving those wonderful flavours. I coat my fish cakes in a little polenta, which, when fried gives a wonderful golden, crunchy crumb. These fish cakes are best eaten fresh but if you don't get through them all, they freeze beautifully.
For the fish cakes:
500g of haddock
250g of smoked haddock
600g of potatoes, peeled and cubed
250ml of milk
Zest of 1 lemon
Sea salt and ground black pepper
6 spring onions, roughly chopped
2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
Polenta to sprinkle
For the minty peas:
A generous knob of butter
500g of frozen peas
A small handful of mint leaves, finely chopped
For the tartare sauce
3 tablespoons of mayonnaise
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon of capers, rinsed and finely chopped
4 cornichons, finely chopped
A small handful of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
Preheat the oven to 160˚C.
Place the fish in a roasting tin and pour over the milk and season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven to poach for 15-20 mins. Remove from the oven and flake into chunky pieces and set aside on a plate.
While the fish is cooking, place the potatoes into a pot of cold water and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 12-15 minutes until tender when pierced with a fork. Drain and place back in the pot and cover with kitchen paper and the lid and set aside.
Fry the spring onions in a frying pan over a medium heat in a little butter until softened. Remove and set aside.
When the potatoes are cool, mash with the lemon zest and season with sea salt and ground black pepper. Gently fold through the fish and spring onions until just combined.
Pour 3-4 tablespoons of polenta onto a plate and using your hands form small palm sized fish cakes. Press the fish cakes into the polenta on all side to coat and set aside the finished fish cakes on a plate. Repeat with the remaining mixture and then cover the fish cakes with cling film and place in the fridge for 15-20 minutes. At this point the fish cakes could also be frozen.
In a small saucepan, cook the peas with a little butter until warmed through, season with sea salt and ground black peppper. Add the mint and then mash roughly.
Mix together all the ingredients for the tartare sauce in a bowl and set aside.
Fry the fishcakes in a frying pan with a little oil over a medium high heat for 3-4 minutes on either side until they have a good colour.
Serve the fish cakes with a generous portion of minty peas, a good dollop of tartare sauce and a lemon wedge.