I’m sick of matzoh and boiled potatoes, and variations thereon, and so is Andrew. Plus, we’ve been watching Masterchef every night so I have schmancy food on the brain. As their hypercompetitive amateur chefs are fond of saying, I wanted to up my game a little. Yeah, so it’s not suffering, but this recipe sticks pretty close to the letter of the holiday.
I considered making fish or chicken, and decided on fish. In the end, I thought fish cakes with smoked haddock (I had some in the freezer) and salmon would be nice, and turns out it’s a traditional English dish; there are half a dozen different recipes for it out there on the Interwebs. I found the basics of this recipe at a http://www.hub-uk.com – a site I don’t really understand, but whatever; the recipe was apparently contributed by Chef Anthony Worrall Thompson, via the North East of Scotland Fisheries Development Partnership. I managed to make it work, but to be honest it wasn’t entirely helpful, so I’ve rewritten it, also adapting it to be kosher for Passover. The savoy cabbage side is my invention.
Salmon and smoked haddock fish cakes
275g (9oz) smoked haddock fillets 175g (6oz) salmon fillet
Seasoned milk for poaching the fish:
2 cups milk
1 small onion, peeled
2 bay leaves
275g (9oz) dry mashed potatoes (about 2 large potatoes)
1 small onion, finely chopped and sweated in 50 g butter
2 teaspoons Thai fish sauce
2 hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 tablespoon chopped dill
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
For coating the fish cakes:
1 cup matzo meal, seasoned with salt and pepper
50g (2oz) butter for frying
• Bring the milk and seasoning ingredients to a simmer.
• Poach the haddock and salmon until cooked, about 15 min.
• Remove fish from the milk and, when cool enough to handle, flake the fish, discarding any skin or bone (the haddock will have some small bones). Reserve the milk.
• Combine the haddock and salmon with the potato, onions sweated in butter, and fish sauce in a bowl, then fold in the salmon, egg, parsley, and dill by hand until well combined. Do not over-mix.
• Add salt and pepper to taste. If the mixture is too dry at this point add some of the fish-poaching milk.
• Divide the mixture up into 4 equal amounts, then shape into patties. Dip in the egg and finally breadcrumbs and reshape.
• Refrigerate for 2 hours before use.
• Pan-fry in butter for 5 minutes each side, and keep warm in the oven.
Orange-scented caramelized onion and savoy cabbage
3 medium onions, thinly sliced
100 g (5 Tbsp) butter
2 Tbsp olive oil
Half a savoy cabbage, chopped
Zest and juice from half a navel orange (preferably organic)
Salt and pepper to taste
In a heavy saucepan over low heat, combine half the butter and olive oil with the sliced onions. Stir the onions occasionally, making sure they don’t burn, until they start to turn color, and then cover and continue to heat for another 5-10 minutes, or until onions are golden and sweet. Remove from heat and set aside. In a large saucepan, melt the rest of the butter and olive oil together, add the chopped cabbage, and cook for about 7 minute, until it’s bright in color. Stir in caramelized onion, orange zest, and orange juice. Heat through, and season to taste.