There are a few boxes that I like to tick before cooking a new recipe. What can I harvest from my allotment? Will Max eat it? Will I eat the leftovers? Is it time and money efficient? Do the flavours work together? Is it healthy? Will I earn a few Good Husband Points? This particular recipe requires a giant red permanent marker to emphatically tick all of those boxes. Did I mention it only requires 4 ingredients?
This is a little insight into the rambling and roving thought process behind the recipe and how it came to be. A quick scan of my humble allotment and I noticed we had some dill that needed picking before it goes to seed. That’s a good start; dill only likes to hang out with fish so we can start thinking about dill and fish. One fish that is delicious, cheap (about $6 per fish) and often overlooked is trout and in its smoked form Max loves it, furthermore it saves time on the cooking. The best way for me to get Max to eat a new flavour is to somehow turn it into something resembling a patty complete with crispy edges and succulent centre.
Root vegetables, beans and pulses can be used to bind patties but the vegetable that will work best with smoked trout and dill is the humble potato. If that potato happens to be floury and fluffy you won’t even need egg or breadcrumbs to prevent the disaster that is a fragile fishcake. It would be good to add a bit more green and another level of flavour, one way I get Max to eat spring onion is to add it to mashed potato; the Irish call this Champ I call it mashed potato and spring onion. And there you have one oversized paragraph that reveals the method to the madness.
Ingredients (Makes 6-8 patties)
1 smoked trout
1 bunch of spring onions (the greens only)
4 medium floury potatoes (Maris Piper, King Edward, Coliban)
A bunch of dill
A little olive oil to fry
That is all
Preheat your to 200 degrees C. Take a fork and repeatedly stab your potatoes like they did something wrong and put them in the oven. Baking the potatoes delivers the most fluffy results and this recipe is all about fluff, if time is your enemy you can bake them in the microwave.
Meanwhile remove the flesh form the fish. The skin will peel off in one long and pleasing strip if you make a little nick up around the neck (do fish have necks?). Take a fork and place on the spine (like yours it runs down the middle of the back) of the fish and gently pull towards you. The fish will come off in nice big flakes leaving behind a Tom and Jerry like fish skeleton. Break the flakes up into a bowl (keep an eye out for any rogue bones)
Chop up the spring onion greens and finely chop the dill.
Once the potato has cooked scoop out the flesh and combine all the ingredients in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
Using your hands (obviously) take the mixture and roll it into patties the size of a kittens head. If you want to joosh them up a bit sprinkle some sesame or poppy seeds either side.
Add to a pan with a small amount of hot oil (add more for further crisp factor) and cook on a medium heat, turning when the edges look nicely crisped.
Further jooshing for yourself or the more discerning child could be in the form of a creme fraiche or yoghurt , lemon and dill sauce. Bon appétit peeps! This is one of those meals that can be enjoyed by the whole family and comes in under $15