Dining In

Catch of the Week!

By Nancy Finch, Food Columnist   

Friday night. I worked late. What to do?

The solution? “Little Saigon,” great Vietnamese food.  So I called. I didn’t have a menu. This became complicated. The person who answered the phone spoke some English, but not a lot. His English was certainly better than my Vietnamese!

I was getting nowhere, so finally I said, “Is there a special?” Ah, yes, was the answer. “What?” I asked. “Fish,” came the response, “big fish.” “Big enough for two?” It sounded like he said yes. So I ordered the “big fish” for take-out.

When a huge plastic container arrived made of two or more boxes put together, I was curious.

In the box was the biggest flounder I had ever seen. This was definitely feeding-the-5,000 material.

With the fish for my husband and me only, there was a LOT of fish left. We don’t have a cat and I wouldn’t have fed a cat the mountains of delicious, expensive flounder anyway.

I remembered a recipe given to me by a fellow food writer years ago. Her mother-in-law used it for leftover bluefish. Night #3 of the fish, we had “Flounder Fish Cakes” made with the bluefish instructions.

I think my husband enjoyed the fish cakes more than the original flounder. 

The “leftover fish” episode sent me on a search. Sure enough, there ARE fish cake recipes that don’t use leftover fish. You bake the fish, by these recipes, and make your fish cakes. They were indeed good — a delicious and different way to serve fish. So, whether your fish is leftover or fresh from the water or seafood market, fish cakes are a dandy way to enjoy fish.

Fish Cakes

Ingredients:

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Cooked fish, skinned and boned

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Soda crackers, crumbled

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Onion, finely chopped

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1 egg

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Salt and pepper

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Cooking oil or spray

Directions: Flake fish, add crumbled crackers, chopped onion and mix well. Add egg and combine until well mixed. Add salt and pepper. Form fish mixture into cakes. Heat skillet and spray or drizzle oil on the hot skillet. Add fish cakes and cook on each side until lightly brown. Serve with tartar or cocktail sauce, if desired. (I didn’t use amounts because you can add fish, crackers or onions in whatever amount you like. If a large quantity is used, add 2 eggs.)

trout cakes with cilantro mango relish

Ingredients:

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1 lb. trout fillets (Rainbow is good) or leftover fish

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1⁄2 cup mayonnaise

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1⁄2 cup dry breadcrumbs, divided

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1⁄4 cup minced green pepper

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2 scallions, minced

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1⁄2 t Old Bay seasoning

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1⁄2 t Worcestershire sauce

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1⁄4 t salt

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1 egg

Directions: Place trout fillets skin-side down on lightly oiled baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees until trout turns opaque, about 5 minutes. Remove skin, drain and combine trout with all ingredients except 1⁄4 cup reserved breadcrumbs. Mix well. Form fish mixture into cakes. Coat each cake with reserved bread crumbs. Saute in lightly oiled skillet until both sides are golden brown. Serve with Cilantro Relish. Serves 4.

Cilantro Mango Relish Ingredients:

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1⁄2 mango, chopped

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2 T red onion, chopped

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1⁄2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

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Juice of 1 lime

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2 T chutney, any kind

 Directions: Combine ingredients. Serve with fish cakes.

catfish cakes with fried green tomatoes

Ingredients:

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1 lb. catfish (or leftover fish)

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1 egg

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1⁄2 cup mayonnaise

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1 T Dijon-style mustard

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1⁄2 t Worcestershire sauce

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1⁄2 t Old Bay seasoning

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1 cup saltine cracker crumbs

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Tabasco, dash

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Salt and pepper to taste

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Flour

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Fried Green Tomatoes*, optional

Directions: Follow directions above for baking fish. Combine flaked fish with all ingredients but flour. Form fish mixture into cakes and dip in flour. Fry in lightly oiled pan until golden brown on each side. Serves 4.

*Fried Green Tomatoes: Dip green tomato slices in buttermilk, then in seasoned cornmeal/flour mixture and fry.

 

 

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