Fish on Friday and Edwardian Fish Cakes with Wild and Smoked Haddock
Another week has galloped by and it’s Friday already, and the first Friday in February too. As you may remember from my previous posts, I recently won the photo competition on the Fish is the Dish website……….and my wonderful prize was a hamper of mixed fish courtesy of John from Delish Fish. My hamper was packed full of the most amazing Scottish fish and seafood and I have been quietly beavering away and developing new fishy recipes over the last week; subsequently we have all been enjoying the rewards of my piscine experimentation in the kitchen. I will be showcasing some lovely new recipes over the next few weeks, all made from my fish and seafood booty, but today I am sharing a rather humble recipe for fish cakes……..but, NOT SO humble actually, as these fish cakes are made with swimmingly fresh wild Scottish haddock as well as smoked haddock. Why on earth would I make fish cakes with such wonderful luxury ingredients you may be thinking, well, the fish that I used was all leftovers from other meals that I have made, hence the mashed potatoes too.
I have been reading about Edwardian food, recipes and diet recently; the Edwardians were gargantuan eaters, well those in the middle to upper classes of course, poverty is always reserved for the poor whatever the century. Huge breakfasts of devilled kidneys, kedgeree, bacon, eggs, sausages, cold ham, kippers, jams, honey, bread buns, muffins, crumpets, pancakes, hot chocolate, coffee, tea, marmalade and toast would have graced the sideboards of most Edwardian country houses and wealthy town houses. We all have images of white gloved butlers gliding along with huge silver salvers to place on the breakfast serving table. The Edwardians were great lovers of fish, especially smoked fish of which smoked haddock was highly regarded. Kedgeree was a popular dish as well as kippers, and fish cakes were often served at breakfast time, as well as an in between course for the main evening meal. The Edwardians would not have considered fish cakes as a “stand alone” meal as we would today. This recipe has beautiful fresh herbs in it, as well as that very Edwardian of flavourings, Anchovy essence and capers. The fish cakes are rich and yet the herbs lighten them up, and they are just superb when served with watercress or bitter salad leaves.
I am not suggesting that you make these fish cakes as part of a blow out breakfast, but they would be fabulous for a light supper or luncheon dish. I made my fish cakes from pre-cooked fish, however, I have listed the method of cooking the fish in my recipe below. Do try to source the anchovy essence, it adds a saltiness and extra layer to the taste of these fish cakes and brings the Edwardian flavours to the fore. The capers are also pretty important not only for the taste but also for the texture. These fish cakes can me made well in advance and will sit quite happily (covered) in the fridge for up to 6 hours before cooking and serving them. You can also freeze them at the pre-fried stage too. I hope that you will enjoy these as much as we did last night, and I’ll see you later with news of my two new weekend challenges of Herbs on Saturday and Slow Sunday, bye for now, Karen.