Livvy and James’ Fish Cakes

Ta da!This is another of our favourite quick and simple meals. Olivia and I eat a lot of fish; it’s generally either haddock or tilapia, and we eat it at least once a week. Normally, we just fry it up, add some veggies and rice or potatoes on the side–and don’t forget the Frank’s Red Hot–and it’s a meal done in less than half an hour. Fish cakes take a little bit longer, but mostly in prep–and it’s definitely worth the extra effort.

This is a recipe we made up as we went along, and it works like a charm.

You’ll need:

  • 2-3 fish fillets, chopped into small pieces.
  • 1 1/2 cups of rice, cooked.
  • 4 green onions, chopped.
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten.
  • 1-2 Tbsp flour (you’ll have to eyeball it).
  • 1/2 tsp each of salt, pepper and paprika (substitute other spices for paprika to taste).
  • 1/2-3/4 cup grated cheese.
  • 1 tsp parmesan cheese.
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced.
  • 1 tsp lemon juice.
  • Olive oil and butter for the pan.

For this meal, I used haddock; our other favourite is tilapia, though I imagine cod, sole, or other whitefish would be just as nice. For the cheese, we normally use a rich old cheddar, but this time I decided to split it half and half with havarti. I also forgot about the green onions for the fish cakes, and used our last few for the accompanying salad–so I just used white onion.

  1. First, gather all your ingredients, and mix everything in a large bowl. Don’t over-mix it, but you want to make sure that everything combines nicely.
  2. Add flour as needed until the mixture just starts to clump together. Too much will make them a bit doughy;with too little, they won’t stay together in the pan. Start with 1 Tbsp and go from there. If you can pick up a handful and form it into a ball without it crumbling apart, you’re there.
  3. Put some cooking oil into a hot pan with a touch of butter (which will give it a nice golden colour). Spoon a large tablespoon full of the mixture onto the an and form it into a patty. Don’t put too many in at once! Chances are you’ll need to do batches anyway, so don’t crown the pan–it’ll just make it harder to turn them.
  4. Fry for about 5 minutes on each side, and check for doneness (the fish pieces should be flaky and white).

And that’s it! Depending on how many batches you do, it should only take about a half hour to forty five minutes–the rice will take longer than anything. This recipe will yield about 9-10 medium sized cakes, but you can make them any size you want.

Serve with a salad and some fresh steamed veggies (broccoli, of course!) and you’ve got a quick and healthy meal. You can remove the cheese to make it even healthier.

And don’t forget the hot sauce!

James and Olivia

Last Night’s Supper: Yellow Dotted Fish Accompanied by Caesar Salad and Couscous

Caesar Salad –

The Croutons:

  1. Cut stale-ish bread and/or buns up. We cut them into 2cm cubes – tho it’s nice to have varied sizes.
  2. Spread on baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and a different spice if you desire (James likes to go a little wild with the spices sometimes so my mouth gets a little overwhelmed ;)).
  3. Sprinkle with a little oil; mix together on pan.
  4. Bake at 425ºF for 5 – 7 minutes, flipping once.
  5. Cool.

The Lettuce: cut it/tear it, wash it, dry it! I love our lettuce spinner – I use it for washing anything leafy and green (actually, it doesn’t have to be just leafy or green). We used to have a lettuce spinner when we were younger – until my mom deemed it not-so-useful and got rid of it (and I shall never let her live it down!). Here’s an easy trick for cutting up a romaine heart that I learned while working in the kitchen with one of my students:

  1. Cut a little at both ends off, discard.
  2. Cut the heart of romaine in half, lengthwise. Now cut both sections lengthwise again so that you have four equal parts. Then, cut into bite size pieces across the width.
  3. Wash well and dry well.
  4. Place in bowl.

The Dressing (compliments of my mom):

In a jar, shake together:

  • 1/4 oil (olive, veggie, canola…)
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Juice of a lemon (try meyers lemons!)
  • Zest of that same lemon
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder (or a clove of freshly minced garlic – mmm!)
  • Dash of Worcestershire sauce

Right before serving, put a good amount of the croutons in with the lettuce, pour salad dressing over (use about half of it for one romaine heart), sprinkle with parmesan cheese and toss gently.

Yellow-Dotted Fish:

  • White fish (tilapia and haddock are my fave)
  • Cornmeal
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Wash fish thoroughly and dry well.
  2. On a plate combine cornmeal, salt and pepper (add a dash of paprika if you like!)
  3. Coat fish in cornmeal mixture; place on pan.
  4. Bake in  425ºF for 10-15 minutes, until golden on top and flaky inside. You do not need to flip this.
  5. You can make a little tartar sauce with mayo, mustard and chopped up pickles if you desire (yum!).

Couscous:

We bought a box of couscous that came with spices, raisins and pinenuts (albeit not that many!) already mixed in. We added some sweet bell peppers for a bit of variety. The couscous was pretty straightforward: put the contents in a heat resistant bowl, add bowling water (and chopped peppers), cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Then, fluff with a fork. Done.