Hot-smoked salmon fish cakes

I made these to use up the trimmings after making some mini hot-smoked salmon en croute but off cuts can be bought, really cheaply, either from a fishmonger or pre-packaged in supermarkets.Ingredients

To make 4 standard or about 10 mini fish cakes

250-300g hot-smoked salmon broken into flakes (to be clear: the salmon should have been hot-smoked but the fish you are using should be cold!).
150-200g cold cooked potato
Juice and rind of half a lemon
Approx. 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh dill
Salt and pepper
For coating
1 beaten egg

MashedIn a medium sized bowl, use a fork to lightly mash the potato.

Add all other ingredients and combine well.

Naked cakes

Use your hands to shape the mixture into patties.  Chill for 20-30 minutes (or bung in the freezer for 10).Breaded cakes

Put your breadcrumbs into one bowl and the beaten egg into another.  Dip each patty, one at a time, first into the egg and then the breadcrumbs.  Make sure they’re completely covered.Oven bakedBake in the oven at gas mark 6/200°C/400°F until they are piping hot and golden brown.  That would take a little less time than these particular mini ones were baked for…so probably about 15-20 mins.

Serve with proper chips and rugged peas.

Perhaps you can help to pin down the timing a little more precisely…how long did yours take? 😉



Mini hot-smoked salmon en croute

This is on the menu as part of the eight course meal planned for Big Sis’s birthday.  As I’m planning to cook them from frozen on the night I thought it a good idea to make some in advance to test out the recipe and to work out the cooking time.

Although I made 10 of these, the recipe below is to serve 4.

Olive oil
A knob of butter
2 shallots, finely chopped
75g baby spinach, roughly chopped
Approx.  4 tablespoons fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
75g watercress, roughly chopped
Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
125g black pepper roulé (or cream cheese with loads of black pepper added)
4 hot-smoked salmon fillets
300g-ish (depends on the size of your fillets) flaky pastry
1 egg, beaten

Chopped spinach, watercress and parsley

Preheat the oven to gas mark 6/200°C/400°F, and line a large baking sheet with baking paper brushed with a little olive oil.

Heat the butter and a splash of olive oil in a pan over a low heat; sauté the shallots for around 6-8 minutes until soft but not coloured.

Add the spinach, parsley and watercress, together with the lemon zest and juice.

Cooked chopped spinach, watercress and parsley

Cook down the leaves for 3–5 minutes, then tip into a sieve set over a bowl.  Press to squeeze out juices and leave to cool.Black pepper roule

Using a fork, mash the roulé in a medium sized bowl.  Add a good grating of fresh nutmeg, then mix in the cooled spinach mixture.  Adjust seasoning to taste.


If you’re looking for a  puff pastry recipe, I’m sorry, but you’ve come to the wrong place.  Shirley Conran declared that life’s too short to stuff a mushroom; it’s my belief life is way too short for making flaky pastry.  This French brand is fabulous but there are plenty of other ready made numbers that do the job just as well.Salmon fillets with toppingRemove the thin end of the salmon and trim, if necessary, to create evenly sized fillets (keep the trimmings for making fish cakes).

Spoon a thick layer of the spinach mixture onto each fillet.

Take just under half of the pastry (roll, if not pre-rolled) and cut four pieces, each around 1.5cm larger than the salmon fillets (my margins were not quite large enough.

Place, evenly spaced, onto the prepared tray.  Lightly moisten the edges of each piece with water, then pop the topped salmon fillets on top.

Salmon fillets wrapped in pastry

Take the remaining pastry and cut into four pieces (they should be slightly larger than the first four).

Lay the pastry over the salmon fillets, mould around the fish with your hands, then press the edges with a fork to seal. Score the top with a knife and brush all over with beaten egg. baked

Bake in the pre-heated oven for 20–25 minutes (35-40 mins if cooking from frozen), or until the pastry is crisp.

Triple fishWe had this as part of a fish trio, served with rugged peas, home made chips, and tartar sauce, although ‘traditionally’ it would be served with new potatoes, steamed veg and watercress sauce.

How would you have yours?



Rugged Peas (peas with mint and chilli)

My take on the peas served by a certain casual dining chain that specialises in chicken dishes.  This is a case of imitation being a form of flattery – I love their peas but really can’t dine out as frequently as my desire for them would dictate. So…

Rugged peas and cod goujonRugged peas as an accompaniment to a cod goujon.

Enough frozen peas to fulfil your serving requirements
3-4 red chillies, finely chopped (adjust quantities according to the chilli type you’re using and the heat levels you like)
4 leafy stems of fresh mint – 3 whole and 1 with the leaves stripped and finely chopped
Small knob of butter

Boil peas, together with 3 whole stems of mint, until cooked (times vary from brand to brand).

Drain, removing and discarding mint.

Using a fork, coarsely mash half of the peas.

Melt butter in pan over a low heat and cook chopped chillies for a few seconds.

Add mashed peas, whole peas and chopped mint, stirring to combine well.