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Smoked Haddock Fish Cakes

Smoked Haddock Fish CakesYou could use a mixture of fish for this recipe, or you could just use one variety, and increase the quantity. Don’t over-process the fish cake mixture, as it’s nice to see chunks of fish when you cut the fish cake open.

If you are going to make a parsley sauce, reserve the poaching liquid from the fish and use instead of some of the milk.

350g/12oz potatoes, cut into chunks
4 eggs 225g/8oz haddock fillet (in one piece)
175g/6oz smoked haddock fillet (in one piece and preferably undyed)
300ml/1/2 pint milk
2 fresh bay leaves few peppercorns
100g/4oz unsalted butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 anchovy fillets, drained and finely chopped
2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
25g/1oz seasoned plain flour
100g/4oz toasted natural breadcrumbs salt and freshly ground black pepper

To Serve: parsley sauce; wilted spinach.

SERVES 4

Place the potatoes in a pan of boiling salted water, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes until tender. Drain and return to the pan for a couple of minutes to dry out, then mash well.

Cook two of the eggs in a small pan of simmering water for 10 minutes until hard-boiled. Rinse under cold water and crack away the shell, then chop finely.

Place the fish in a large pan, add the milk, bay leaves and peppercorns. Cover and bring to a simmer, then poach for a few minutes until the fish is just tender.

Transfer the fish to a plate with a fish slice and flake, discarding any skin and bones. Strain the milk into a jug - you’ll need 300ml/1/2 pint if you want to make the parsley sauce.

Heat 25g/1oz of the butter in a pan and sweat the onion for about 5 minutes to soften, then add 25g/1oz of the butter and just allow to melt. Tip into a bowl and add the cooked potatoes, flaked fish, hard-boiled eggs, anchovies, parsley and dill. Mix well, season, cover with clingfilm and chill for at least 1 hour to firm up (up to 24 hours is fine).

Shape the fish mixture into four patties and then toss in the flour. Beat the remaining two eggs in a shallow dish and add the patties turning to coat, then coat in the breadcrumbs.

Arrange on a baking sheet and chill for at least 2 hours to firm up. Heat the remaining butter in a frying pan and fry the patties for 5 minutes on each side until heated through and golden brown.

To serve, arrange some wilted spinach on heated plates with a fish cake on top, then pour around some parsley sauce.

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