Blooming Delicious, Vermilion Publishing. £18.99. Photography by Chris Terry
This recipe has been lifted from the Nesting chapter of my book, Blooming Delicious. Nesting is a stage that many mums-to-be will experience not long before baby is due. It’s about getting organised, making sure that before baby arrives that the house and baby’s room are ready and look perfect, ensuring, all clothes are ironed and hospital bags
packed. I think that the idea of stocking up your freezer with good home-cooked meals is also a necessity.
I’m not suggesting that you do all the cooking – perhaps someone else can make a dish or two and, of course, I’m sure your partner is capable of spending a couple of hours in the kitchen one Sunday afternoon. These Fish cakes are quick and easy, and making them yourself (or someone else) means you will know exactly what has gone into them. I use sweet potatoes for this recipe as they contain high levels of vitamin A, which can help strengthen a low or recovering immune system. Using sweet potatoes gives the fish cakes a softer texture, as they don’t contain the starch that white potatoes do. The addition of spring onions and a little sweetcorn makes these a real treat. Serve with wilted spinach or griddled asparagus and a squeeze of lemon.
PREP TIME 2 0 MINUTES • COOK TIME 1 HOUR • MAKES 8
3–4 medium sweet potatoes
500g skinless cod fillets or
other white fish, cut into
bunch of spring onions,
trimmed and finely
30g fresh coriander leaves,
2 tsp Cajun seasoning
1 x 200g tin sweetcorn,
salt and freshly ground
FOR THE COATING
100g plain flour
2 free-range eggs, beaten
with 50ml milk
100g polenta, dried
or matzo meal
1 Preheat the oven to 200°C (fan 180°C). Place the sweetpotatoes on a baking tray and pierce a few times with a knife. Cook for 30–40 minutes, until tender. You can also cook them in the microwave for 8–10 minutes on high if you are in a hurry (or impatient like me), but you will have to cook them 2 at a time as they won’t fit in one go. Halve lengthways and leave to cool. Keep the oven on if you are eating the fish cakes immediately.
2 Place the cod fillets, spring onions, coriander, Cajun seasoning and sweetcorn in a food processor and pulse a few times. Season generously with salt and pepper.
3 Scoop the sweet potato flesh into the food processor with the fish mixture, and pulse until all the ingredients are
combined but still have a little texture.
4 For the coating, tip the flour into one bowl, the beaten eggs and milk into another, and the polenta, breadcrumbs or meal into a third. Shape the fish cake mixture into 8 patties. Coat each one well in the flour, then shake off the excess and dip into the egg mixture and then the breadcrumbs. Make sure each patty is completely covered. To get a really good coating, dip them back into the egg and then again into the breadcrumbs.
5 Cook the fish cakes on a lightly oiled baking tray in the oven for 20 minutes. Alternatively, freeze the fish cakes on a parchment lined tray. Make sure they don’t touch or they will stick together as they freeze. Once frozen hard, store in labelled freezer bags
– I usually put 2 in each bag. When you are ready to cook the fish cakes, preheat the oven to 200°C (fan 180°C). Cook from frozen on a baking tray for 40 minutes.