Cod Fishcakes

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Easy, delicious, and a great way to have fish. You might think that with the potato they’d be a bit heavy,┬ábut they’re actually light, even a bit fluffy, and the lemon perks up the flavor.

The recipe requires two steps that must be done ahead of time — boiling and mashing the potatoes and poaching the fish. You also have to chill the fishcakes for at least half an hour before cooking them. So save this recipe for a weekend, or a day when you have some time to get into the kitchen a few times to prepare the night’s meal.

Definitely serve this with lemon wedges. A side of buttered broccoli works well.

Serves 4 (makes 8 fishcakes)

400g (14 oz.) cod fillets
200ml (just under 1 cup) milk
2 large floury potatoes
25g (1 oz.) unsalted butter
Pinch of grated nutmeg
5 large sprigs of parsley, chopped, plus extra for garnish
2 lemons (zest of one, the other one cut into wedges)
4 Tbsp. plain (all-purpose) flour
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
3 Tbsp. olive oil (at least)

Poach the cod in simmering milk (thinned with water) to just cover it, for 3-4 minutes until the fish starts to flake. Drain, discard the skin if there is any, and pat dry. Leave to cool.

Peel, quarter, and boil the potatoes for 10-12 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork. Drain and mash until smooth. Mix in the butter, nutmeg, chopped parsley, and lemon zest. Flake in the cod by rubbing the fish between your thumb and fingers to make small bits. Season with salt and pepper and cool.

Divide into eight balls and press into patties about 2.5 cm (1 inch) thick. Chill for at least 30 minutes.

Season the flour with cayenne pepper. Dip the fishcakes in the flour to coat. In a frying pan, heat the olive oil. Fry the fishcakes (in batches if necessary) for 3-4 minutes each side until golden brown.

Coconut-Crusted Salmon with Lime

IMAG1937An easy recipe with just four ingredients that takes almost no time to prepare. And as it bakes in the oven, you have time to prepare the rest of the meal.

I wanted to use unsweetened coconut for this recipe but only had the sweetened kind, which I use for baking. I used it anyway and I actually liked it — salmon does very well with sweet toppings and sauces.

I served this with Green Rice, which provided both the starch and vegetable (spinach). If you want a third item on the plate, you could serve a vegetable like broccoli on its own, or perhaps a cold salad or relish.

Serves 4

4 narrow salmon filets, about 1 1/2 by 5 1/2 inches
1 cup sweetened coconut
2 limes
1-2 Tbsp. canola (rapeseed) oil

Heat the oven to 400F/205C degrees. Lightly oil a baking pan.

Place the sweetened coconut in a wide bowl. Add the zest of one lime and mix well with your fingers. Dredge the salmon in the coconut all over, then place on the oiled baking dish. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the salmon is cooked through. Juice the limes, and when you take the salmon out of the oven, drizzle the juice of half a lime on top of each filet.

Curried Catfish, Thai Style

Very easy to make, done in less than 15 minutes, and delicious. I recommend making it with these Thai Rice Noodles with Mustard Greens, another easy dish, for a tasty, simple homemade Thai dinner.

Serves 3-4

2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 tsp. mild curry powder
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
White pepper, to taste
1 1/4 lb. catfish filets (3 or 4 filets)
1/3 cup dry-roasted, unsalted peanuts, chopped

Preheat the oven to 475F/245C degrees. Grease a large, rimmed baking sheet.

Combine everything but the catfish and peanuts in a large, wide bowl. Add the filets and toss them in the sauce, making sure they are completely covered. Put them on the baking sheet and bake for 8-15 minutes, depending on thickness. Remove from the oven, top with peanuts, and serve.