A mid week meal solution that makes a little fish go a long way.
1 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Finely grated zest 1 lemon
1 Tbsp capers, drained and chopped
1 Tbsp snipped chives
2 Tbsp chopped parsley
1 bunch spring onions, trimmed, sliced and finely chopped
¼ cup sour cream
2 size 6 (medium) free-range egg yolks
200g skinned and boned smoked fish (I buy a smoked fish fillet)
½ cup panko crumbs
¼ cup olive oil
2 Tbsp butter
1 Peel potatoes, cut into chunks, put them in a saucepan, cover with cold water, salt and bring to a gentle boil. Cook at a gentle bubble until nearly tender. Drain and let them air dry for a few minutes. Transfer potatoes to a board and crush with a fork.
2 When potatoes are cool, transfer to a large bowl. Add salt, pepper, lemon zest, capers, herbs, spring onions, sour cream and egg yolks. Gently mix together, just until combines. Add smoked fish and streak it through the potato mixture. Shape into 12 cakes, placing them on a plate as they are done – and don’t fiddle with this, just 12 roughish blobs will do – and refrigerate for 30 minutes or so.
3 Briefly whiz the panko crumbs in a blender to make them a bit finer. Put them on paper towels. Coat hash cakes with crumbs. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. When it is hot, swirl in the butter, then add fish cakes. Cook until golden, then turn carefully with two spoons. Brown hash cakes on all sides.
4 Transfer to a serving platter and serve with lemon wedges, and if you want to be naughty (go on!) a dollops or two of a good brand of mayonnaise works a treat.
Treat the hash cakes carefully when frying them as they are soft and fragile. The best way to turn them is to do so with two spoons (tongs will crush them). Don’t worry if they become misshapen, as that is part of the look. A salad on the side is the perfect accompaniment, but asparagus, broccoli or broccolini also works a treat.