Sorry for the lack of updates, I have been busy working on other projects. Lucky for me, my friend, photographer and graphic designer Robert Festino decided to give a Jamie recipe a shot. I'm annoyed that his photos are so much better than mine! Read his account below. - DC
Robert's take on Jamie's South American Fishcakes
Fishcakes, fishcakes, rolly polly fishcakes! Okay, I don't even know what that pop culture reference is at this point, but I cannot get it out of my head. The other night I was starved for something A) fried B) bites sized, and C) from the seafood counter of Whole Foods market. I had just made some wonderful baja style fish tacos a few weeks before and craved the same. Since I'm in need of improving on my culinary repertoire I wanted to make something new this time. This is where Jamie Oliver and Diane Chang enter the picture. Fishcakes, fishcakes....
I looked up Jamie's recipe for South American Fishcakes. No surprise to anyone, this recipe completely fit the bill. Jamie recommends haddock, but I picked up tilapia. Sure the flavor profile would be different, but it's supposed to contain much lower mercury levels, and I really like tilapia. Okay, enough of that business. Let the cooking begin.
Prepping the ingredients here is really fast. First I started boiling my big pot of water. I quickly threw my bay leaf covered fish fillets onto a bed of milk and into the oven. The idea of cooking fish in milk was curious to me, but who's to question these things in life? I assumed it added flavor and moisture to make the fish more fibrous in the mixture. He calls for baking them 15 minutes in a 375 F˚ oven. While that was happening I grabbed my knife and started chopping and peeling. I don't own a peeler so my knife skills on the potato, which are lacking, came back to haunt me. I've peeled many carrots with a knife. Peeling potatoes should be no problem, right? Well, let's just say it was a time suck. We only had 15 minutes here! So after dicing them and throwing them into boiling water, I hit the rest of the ingredients with my knife. All chopped and ready to go, lovely.
The fun part is mashing everything together in the bowl. I love this stuff. After that, I actually placed the bowl in the fridge for a while. I was in need of a nap. Sorry, I had a long day.
Awake and ready to get back at it, I heated the sunflower oil. Then floured my cutting board and started rolling out the little palm sized cakes. This, again, was fun. The first few formed nicely. The fourth bunch were a little tricky. You definitely want to keep your hands well floured in order to avoid stickiness.
Watching the cakes fry for five minutes is where the real fun began. I did four at a time. They came out golden brown, perfect. Honestly, I recommend this dish to anyone, even the novice cook. I am experienced enough in the kitchen, and frying, which once was a challenge is no longer one, but these cakes are so well formulated that there is no chance of them falling to bits within the pain. The consistency is that solid.
Eating them was exciting. I paired 'em with a Pinot Grigio.
Oh, now that I think of it, the original verse was FISH HEADS, not cakes. Gross! Jamie's (and mine) FISHCAKES, delicious.
By: Robert Festino