The title of this blog post has just annoyed me, so I apologise if it’s grated on you too. What a stupid thing to suggest: A salad dressing made from leftovers. The very nature of leftovers means that everybody’s are different….
I learned this recipe on a cooking course six years ago, and it’s been my go-to dish ever since.
In fact, the first cooking job I did, I was called up at 10 o’clock in the morning and told that I’d be cooking supper in Gloucestershire that evening, so I legged it to the butcher, got a butterfly leg of lamb and chucked this marinade all over it – that’s the meat sorted, because it just needs putting in the oven and carving. No faff. So easy….
Usually I make a bit of effort with the photographs of the food I eat…but on this occasion I failed.
I blame it on the fact that this sauce is so intensely delicious, it disappeared before I could get the lens cap off my camera, so you’ll just have to make do with this unappetizing photograph I took before it was put it on the table which doesn’t do it justice at all!…
I maintain that frozen coley is an excellent thing to keep in the freezer—it defrosts quickly, it’s super healthy, and the fact it’s frozen so quickly after it’s caught means that it’s probably fresher than the fish lying about at supermarket counters.
Annoyingly, Tom sees frozen fish on about the same level as spam—something that should only be used in the event of nuclear fallout. But clearly he’s in the minority. The last time I wrote a post on frozen coley it received tons of hits…and because wordpress lets me see how visitors ended up at TheFoodIEat, I noticed that lots of you had googled ‘frozen coley recipe’. Interesting. So, in the name of supply and demand, here’s another:
Roughly 1 large potato per person (good mashing potatoes, preferably)
Roughly 1-1 ½ frozen coley steaks per person
Around 150 ml milk – basically enough so the fish are sitting in 3cm-deep milk when they’re nestled in the frying pan
Seasoning: black pepper, chilli, mustard, garlic, spring onions…(use your imagination)
(For proper fishcakes – I didn’t do this because, frankly, I couldn’t be bothered)
Peel the potatoes and boil them until they’re nice and soft, and the potatoes will slip off a sharp knife.
While the potatoes are bubbling away, pour the milk into a frying pan, add seasoning (I used black pepper, mustard and chilli) then poach the fish until it’s cooked through—this usually takes around 6-8 minutes.
Strain, so the fish is separated from the poaching milk—but make sure that you keep both the fish and the milk.
Add some of the poaching milk to the potatoes, and mash them into a silky, fishy, potato mash – yum. Next flake the fish into the potato, add some spring onions and stir. As you can see, coley is a particularly good fish for this recipe—it’s quite a meaty fish so it holds its shape which adds texture to the whole dish rather than making it too paste-like.
Sprinkle flour on a board, and mould a handful of fishy-mash into a burger shape. If you manage to keep them all the same width then they’ll cook through more evenly—heat will take far longer to reach the centre of the fishcake if they’re in a big ball-shape.
If you fancy making your fishcakes really swish like the ready-made ones in a supermarket, then beat up an egg, coat the patties it and then cover them in breadcrumbs. As you can see, I didn’t bother — this decision was made on the grounds that 1) I was hungry, and it’s quite a time-consuming process, especially when you have to begin by making breadcrumbs and 2) because adding a load of egg and bread to a meal doesn’t make it any more nutritious—Tom and I are making a vague attempt to eat healthily.
Now, when it comes to cooking the fishcakes, I put them in an oven for 10 minutes, so they were warm the whole way through (note that the potatoes and fish are actually cooked already, so it’s just a matter of making all them hot and tasty). I finished them off by briefly frying them so that they had a crispy outside. Serve with a big salad, and some sort of condiment—mayonnaise, sweet chilli sauce…
Just a final aside for those of you who aren’t convinced by this recipe. Seeing as I already had lots of frozen coley in my freezer (there’d been a deal at Tescos a while back) I spent £2 on supper lastnight….and it got a resounding thumbs up from Tom, who was so moved by the fishcakes, I’ve got a feeling that he might re-think his stance on frozen fish.