Fishcakes are often made with leftover fish but these are made from scratch with fillets from a whole megrim sole defrosted from my freezer. Megrim is interchangeable with lemon sole and common in Cornish waters; in fact I’ve never seen it on the slab outside Cornwall but is worth discovering. Any soft, white fish fillets would work in this delicate fish cake made with spring onions, new potatoes and parsley. The fishcakes are browned in a frying pan and then finished in the oven, where they could be kept waiting if necessary. They could, if required, be re-heated in a warm oven.
Prep: 30 min
Cook: 20 min
400g large new potatoes
25g butter plus an extra knob
4 megrim or lemon sole fillets
bunch spring onions
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp mascarpone or other thick cream
1 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
3 tbsp vegetable oil
Heat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. Scrape the potatoes, chop into roughly equal size chunks and boil until just tender. Drain, return to the pan and crush with a potato masher. No need to be too neat about this. Spread the mash out in a mixing bowl. Meanwhile, trim and finely slice the spring onions and soften gently in a frying pan in 25g butter with a pinch salt. When soft, scatter over the mash. Use a small sieve or fork to mix the egg yolk with the cream. Scatter the parsley over the onions. When the oven is up to temperature, cook the fish fillets, skin-side uppermost, spread out on buttered foil (using the extra knob of butter), add salt and pepper and squeeze of lemon. Cook for 10 minutes. Lift the skin off the flesh, transferring to a plate. Check carefully for bones. Crumble the fish over the other ingredients and add the egg mix. Use a fork to form into a cohesive lump. With lavishly floured hands and dusting of flour over the lump, form into 6 small plump, equal size fish cakes. Dust the cakes with flour, perfect the shape with floured hands – I worked towards flat sides as you can see in the pic. Chill, covered with a loose stretch of clingfilm, if liked. Otherwise, heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and fry the cakes in uncrowded batches for a couple of minutes (without moving) to form a crusty surface. Deftly turn with a fish slice or spatula and repeat. Bake at 180C/bas mark 4 for 10 minutes until hot throughout.