Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Fish Cake or Low-Carb Fish Burger?

What better way to power ourselves through the weeks than with a nice fish dinner? Unfortunately, most wallets do not support a steady supply of freshly caught whatever-the-trendy-restaurant-fish-is-at-the-moment. This does not, however, lead one to succumb to fish fingers. Even though I am sure there is a time and a place for reliving such frozen nostalgic goodness, I am even more certain that if you have 30 minutes of kitchen time, the tastiest and tangiest of all fish cakes can be on your plate in less time than a run to the supermarket's frozen aisle.

Fish cakes are what I dined on in university while caring for a well-off Jewish retiree, and they have always held this image for me. Food for discerning women.

I welcome a new age of fish cakes. In fact, I will start calling them fish burgers. I think more men will eat them this way. Burgers are manly. Burgers are burly. And since so many men I meet in Italy admit openly to being on a diet, they will also appreciate the bun-less low-carb aspect. It's a win-win. So while we know these are by definition fish cakes, just tell your family fish burgers are on the menu.

These are tangy. They've got zing from all angles. Horseradish, pickles, capers, and spicy peppers. Eaten with a fresh salad and a crisp, cold, mineraly glass of white wine, they go down with much more taste than any fish finger ever resembled. Fast, keeps the summer kitchen cool, budget-friendly, and most importantly, a fresh and bright taste with a crispy texture. Welcome, my new summer low-carb burgers. 

Continue to Recipe...

Recipe: Low-Carb Fish Burger (i.e. Fish Cakes)
Serves 2
Adapted from Bon Appétit, Jan 2009
Eat with Falanghina (or a Pinot Grigio)

zest of 2 lemons
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup diced red onion
2 Tb diced pickles
2 Tb horseradish
2 Tb diced capers
2 Tb chopped parsley
1/3 cup mayonnaise

fish cakes:
4 slices white bread
10 oz (300g) white fish (mahi-mahi, swordfish, or even cod)
1 egg
2 small green chili peppers, de-seeded and diced
olive oil

crisp salad or coleslaw mix

1) zest and juice the lemons into a bowl. Add onion, pickles, horseradish, capers, parsley, and mayonnaise. Mix well and set aside. 

2) In a food processor, whizz the bread slices into fine crumbs (useful to cube first). Set aside. Cut fish into cubes, place in food processor and gently whiz into small pieces, not so it's mush. In a bowl, whisk the egg, add the fish, 1 Tb of the sauce, and 1 cup of the bread crumbs. The remaining crumbs toss into a pan to eventually coat the fish cakes.

3) Shape into 4 - 6 patties. Coat in the remaining breadcrumbs. Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the fish cakes, about 3-4 minutes per side, until deeply golden.

4) Serve with salad and additional sauce.


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