Ling and parsley fishcakes
Ling lends itself perfectly to being made into fishcakes. I like my fishcakes to be nice and simple, just the fish and potato mixed with a teaspoonful or two of béchamel sauce and a few herbs; the béchamel makes the fishcake really creamy and if ever I’m making fish in parsley sauce I always keep a bit back for fishcakes. I enjoy my fishcakes with just a salad of the season dressed with the anchovy vinaigrette and some fresh mayonnaise.
300 g skinned and prepared ling fillet
300 g boiled potatoes
Small handful of parsley
300 g milk
A few parsley stalks
20 g butter
A good handful of flour for coating plus 2 tbsps for the sauce
2 beaten eggs
2 good handfuls breadcrumbs
Sea salt and black pepper
Put the milk, bay leaf, ½ onion and parsley stalks into a pan and bring to a gentle simmer. Cut the fish into chunks and add to the pan, cook for a further 2 – 3 minutes then remove from the heat and leave for ½ hour. Remove the fish and flake into the mashed potatoes.
In another pan melt the butter then add the flour until you have a nice creamy paste. Then slowly add some of the milk in which the fish has been poached until you have a thick creamy sauce. Add a few tabslespoons to the fish and potato mixture, then add the parsley, mix together well, you should have a creamy dough which is not too wet and can be easily shaped. You may keep the remaining sauce to go with the fishcakes if you wish. It is best served with just a squeeze of lemon added before serving.
Divide the mixture into 4 balls then flatten into rounds, I find a pastry cutter ideal for this job as it can be easily filled with the mixture and you get a consistent shape. Chill for ½ an hour before coating. To coat have 3 plates in front of you, one with the beaten eggs, one with some flour and one with the fine breadcrumbs. First dip each fishcake in the flour then the egg, and last of all the breadcrumbs making sure that you have an even coating all round.
You may shallow fry the fishcakes in a little vegetable oil until golden on each side and then finish in the oven, however my preference is to deep fry them for 4-5 minutes in hot oil at a temperature of 190c.