Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Cod Cakes in Tomato Sauce

I should do some sort of recipe census one day and see which chefs I tend to cook most of. I’m pretty sure that Yotam Ottolenghi would feature pretty highly up the list. Everything I’ve tried of his so far has been winner and there are many more I still want to try (braised eggs with lamb, venison stew and black pepper tofu all spring immediately to mind).

The Guardian website is a good source of his recipes and of course that was where I saw this one. These fishcakes are it seems, according to Ottolenghi “popular among Syrian Jews” being as they “capture much of the spirit of Sephardi food”. They are also delicious.

Cod Cakes in Tomato Sauce
serves 2

1½ slices good white bread, crusts removed
300g white fish fillet, skinless and boneless,
½ medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
15g flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
15g coriander, finely chopped
½ tbsp ground cumin
¾ tsp salt
1 large free-range egg, beaten
2 tbsp olive oil
For the tomato sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
¾ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp sweet paprika
½ tsp ground coriander
½ medium onion, chopped
65ml white wine
200g tin chopped tomatoes
½ red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1 small garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp caster sugar
sea salt and black pepper

First make the tomato sauce. Heat the oil in a very large frying pan for which you have a lid and add the spices and onion. Cook for eight to 10 minutes, until completely soft, then add the wine and simmer for three minutes. Add the tomatoes, chilli, garlic, sugar, half a teaspoon of salt and some black pepper. Simmer for about 15 minutes, until quite thick, taste to adjust the seasoning and set aside.

While the sauce is cooking, make the fishcakes. Put the bread in a food processor and blitz to breadcrumbs. Chop the fish very finely and put in a bowl with the breadcrumbs and everything else but the olive oil.

Mix well, use your hands to shape into compact cakes about 2cm thick and 8cm wide. If the cakes are very soft, refrigerate for 30 minutes so they firm up (you could also add some dried breadcrumbs to the mix, but do so only sparingly – the uncooked cakes should be quite wet).

Heat half the olive oil in a frying pan and sear the cakes for three minutes on each side, so they colour well on both sides. Add the remaining oil as you fry the cakes.

Place the seared cakes gently, side by side, in the tomato sauce – if need be, squeeze them a bit so they all fit in a single layer.

Add just enough water partially to cover the cakes – about 100ml or so – cover the pan with a lid and simmer on a very low heat for 15–20 minutes.

Turn off the heat and leave the cakes to settle, uncovered, for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Serve warm or at room temperature with, for instance, some steamed couscous.

No comments:

Post a Comment