28 November 2011

here fishy fishy

Okay, whenever I think of fish, I think of Darla.

Now that we have that out of the way, here's a brilliant trick to make canned fish into something scrumptious. I have been trying to include more wild-caught fish in our diet and cans are sure cheaper than fresh fillets. You can use mackerel, salmon, or tuna: whatever floats your boat (ha ha how clever my nautical allusions are) or, more to the point, whatever is on sale.

Fish Cakes
(original recipe from Taste Is Trump)

3 tablespoons butter, divided
1/2 cup minced onion
1/2 cup diced bell pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 14.5-oz can wild-caught salmon or chub mackerel (or three 5-oz cans solid albacore tuna)
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons coconut flour
1 teaspoon salt
spices to taste*

1) Melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium-low heat in large heavy skillet. Add onion, pepper, and garlic; saute until softened.
2) Drain and finely chop canned fish.** Don't discard any bones, as they are a great source of nutrition! A Blendtec can take care of the chopping in a few pulses and a small food processor would probably do the same. Lacking either, your trusty chef's knife will be just fine.
3) In medium bowl stir together sauteed vegetables, finely chopped fish, eggs, coconut flour, salt, and spices as desired.
4) Melt remaining butter over medium heat in same large skillet. Form fish mixture into patties about 1/2 inch thick and 2 inches in diameter. Fry for 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and warmed through.*** Continue to form patties and fry until mixture is used up. Add more butter to skillet if needed. :)
5) Serve hot with lemon wedges, sour cream, yogurt, or whatever else you like with fish.


*For a southwestern twist a la the original, use a squeeze of lime juice, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, and 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander. For an Italian twist use 1/2 teaspoon each dried basil and oregano.

**Funny story: the first time I used mackerel for this recipe, I literally jumped and screamed when they came sliding out of the can. See, you know how Pacific salmon and albacore tuna are really large animals? So the paltry pound of pink flesh packed into a can doesn't even resemble a fish anymore? I'm used to that.

And you know how mackerel are much smaller? So they actually fit into cans?

Yeah. That was alarming. I was not expecting to see entire fish bodies in my strainer. Headless and tailless, but decidedly fishlike! I expected them to go flopping into the sink at any moment, but bravely soldiered on, and now I actually think the mackerel has the best flavor out of all three options.

***The heat of your stovetop may vary. If you're unsure of how hot it should be, I recommend experimenting with one fish cake on the first go-round. You want the butter to be quite hot, as the fish cakes ought to sizzle when they hit the pan, but you need to be able to fry them for a few minutes on each side without burning them! Fiddle with it until you find the right balance.

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