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Fast food for dinner – Bill Granger’s prepare-ahead fish cakes

There’s nothing like challenging yourself to try two new 30-minute meals a week – and then blogging about it publicly – to encourage you to pick up a cookery book.

For those who are new to my blog, I always liked cooking before having my three kids, but in the last few years, I’d somehow got out of the habit. I lost my curiosity to try out new foods somewhere between baby number two and baby number three, submerged under laundry, exhaustion and the treadmill of childcare.Healthier Mummy food challenge

Yes, the food was usually tasty, but somehow, after having my third child, the meals I served up became monotonous. (You can read more here: Do you have mealtime déjà vu? If you’re bored of your food, here are eight ways to shake up your repertoire.)

Challenge update

But since challenging myself in January to try two new meals a week, I’ve been leafing through cookery books, sharing ideas with friends and even beating my target by cooking new meals three to four times a week.

And do you know what? I love it. Interestingly, it feels like a part of me that became abandoned in the upheaval of becoming a mum is re-emerging. And weirdly, it’s a part that I hadn’t even realised was buried.

It feels as though I’m strengthening an underused muscle – the more I try out new recipes, the more interested I become in sourcing delicious meals to cook.

How my kitchen is changing

I’m trying more varied dishes, have a batch of new cook books, have finally got round to buying a knife sharpener, and own a shiny new slow cooker (see Tested: Slow cooker beef and ale stew with dumplings).

My store cupboard also contains new-to-me ingredients like groundnut oil, spelt flour, giant couscous and miso paste. Lemons are now regulars on my weekly shopping list, and I’ve joined a lunch club at work, which I will tell you about in a blog post soon.

Plus I’m scouting around for cooking courses to help improve my skills and boost my kitchen  confidence further.

Here’s an example of how things have changed: the other day I had 10 minutes of free time when the kids were quiet, happy and didn’t need my attention. (Cough, okay, yes, they were watching TV.)

Rather than checking my emails or Facebook, I found myself pulling out a cook book and leafing through it. Just for fun.

Recipe for fish cakes

Bill Bryson's fish cakes

As well as searching for 30-minute meals, I’m hunting for recipes that you can prepare at the weekend – or any day that you have more time – to serve up on those frantic weekday evenings when you need a 10-minute speedy supper.

These fish cakes by Australian chef Bill Granger are perfect. Okay, there’s a bit of prep work but once it comes to the actual cooking,  they make the perfect healthy fast food, as they’re on your plate in just 6 minutes.

You can either freeze them or store them for a couple of days in a plastic container in the fridge. I lined them on greaseproof paper, so they didn’t stick together.

They’re made using tinned salmon, which makes them a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. And to reduce the fat content, I swapped half-fat crème fraîche for the full-fat version in the original recipe.

I also like these fish cakes because of their Asian influence, with flavours of ginger, chilli and coriander.

Serves 4

300g potatoes, peeled and chopped
415g tin red salmon
40g plain flour
2 eggs
4 spring onions, chopped
3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
3 tablespoons chopped coriander
1 large green chilli, finely chopped
1 teaspoon grated ginger
2 tablespoons half fat crème fraîche
160g fresh breadcrumbs
zest of 1 lemon
oil for shallow-frying

Method

Boil the potato for about 25 minutes until tender. Drain and roughly mash. Put in a bowl with the salmon, flour, eggs, spring onions, parsley, coriander, chilli, ginger, crème fraiche, breadcrumbs and lemon zest. Season. Mix well and shape into 12 fish cakes, then dust with a little flour.

Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium-high heat. Fry the fish cakes in batches for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until golden.


Comments (24)

  • Avatar

    Rachel @ activities4kidz

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    They look delicious! I’ve lost my umph in cooking so need a kick up Tue bum, and I think I’ve just found it!

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    Christina

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    These sound delicious. I will definitely be giving these a go. Thank you.

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    Kate Thompson

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    They look lovely – and I love your Blog, it looks so fresh and clean, amazing photos and pictures :) We make our own version of fishcakes and lentil patties and I always have some in my freezer too!

  • Avatar

    lisa prince

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    oooh this looks deliscious i cold eat them now x

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    Sonya Cisco

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    I loved fishcakes when I was a kid, one of my favs! Not had them in years.

    • Avatar

      healthiermummy

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      They remind me of my childhood too. Really take me back.

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    40 Year Old Domestic Goddess

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    Love love love fishcakes and will be trying this recipe for sure. Thanks so much you have helped solve my Friday night dinner crisis xx

    • Avatar

      healthiermummy

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      So glad I could help. Enjoy the fish cakes!

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    mummy of two

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    Glad you have your cooking mojo back! I do love fishcakes but am always put off with the time it takes. This looks like a great solution!

    • Avatar

      healthiermummy

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      Yes, it worked really well to make them ahead of time.

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    Kirsty Hijacked By Twins

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    This is a great challenge to set yourself. Its always good to try new meals. These fish cakes sound delicious x

    • Avatar

      healthiermummy

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      They were really tasty, thanks. And yes, I’m loving my challenge.

  • Avatar

    You Baby Me Mummy

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    Good to hear your cooking motivation is back. It is so easy to get stuck in a rut with the same meals. I think they look lovely, but I am not a big fish fan x

  • Avatar

    Ninja cat

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    I,’m loving your cooking mojo

    • Avatar

      healthiermummy

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      Thank you, I feel like I’m a bit of a cooking fiend at the mo.

  • Avatar

    Jenny

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    I love fishcakes but have never tried making my own – yet!

  • Avatar

    Charlotte

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    What a lovely post, I know how easy it is to kind of lose yourself a bit with children but it’s so nice to see when people start getting back into things they loved! The fishcakes look lovely x

  • Avatar

    Kizzy

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    Great idea and these look very tasty

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    Mammasaurus

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    Deeeelish! I have fishcakes on my list of things to try to make this month – so will give these a whirl. Love the idea of being able to prepare before x

  • Avatar

    Angela Spicer

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    Fish cakes are so easy to make yet I never think of them. Thanks

  • Avatar

    Bek

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    I love the idea of trying two meals out per week as I also get a bit repetitive with the foods we eat sometimes. We love fish cakes and these look delicious! This has inspired me to try out some new recipes too. Thank you! :-)

  • Avatar

    Fritha Strickland

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    I’m a veggie but my brother eats fish so I’ll mention this to him, I love the illustration also! x

  • Avatar

    kara

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    I don’t like fish sadly but well done on cooking fresh – something I really need to start doing

  • Avatar

    weight loss plans

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    By making the right food choices, you can cut down on unnecessary calories without starving yourself and feeling deprived.

Comments are closed