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Smoked Trout Cakes with Toasted Walnut Sauce

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Valentine Warner, Level 1
Valentine Warner
Valentine Warner is cooking some of his favorite recipes in the Seafood Secrets series, showing you his tips and tricks to cook perfect fish every time. In this Grokker Premium video, Valentine focuses on a heartwarming comfort food classic: the fishcake. An intriguing walnut and horseradish sauce is the perfect complement to simple and delicious smoked trout and potatoes.

Cooking Recipe

Serves: 2

1 ½ cups (300g) King Edward potatoes, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
1 cup (200g) hot-smoked trout, bones removed (See below recipe for explanation of hot-smoked vs cold smoked trout)
3 tbsp finely chopped fresh curly parsley
½ tsp flaked sea salt
2 tbsp plain flour, sifted
½ cup (100g) white bread crumbs
2 free-range eggs
3 ½ tbsp (50g) unsalted butter
1 tbsp sunflower oil
Ground black pepper to taste
Watercress, to serve

For the walnut sauce:
2 tbsp finely chopped walnuts
1 shallot, chopped
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp crème fraîche
Grated zest of ½ small unwaxed lemon and a squeeze of juice, just enough to give the sauce an edge
2 tsp grated horseradish (not sauce) from a jar, or 4 tsp from fresh root
Flaked sea salt to taste
Ground black pepper to taste

1. Put the potatoes into a pan and cover them with cold water. Bring them up to a boil, cooking them for 10–15 minutes, or until totally softened—a little overcooking is good. Drain them and allow to stand until cool and dry.

2. While the potatoes cook, gently dry-fry the walnuts in a frying pan, swirling them continuously until they turn a shade or two darker and have a lovely toasted smell. Do not burn them. Allow them to cool.

3. Combine all of the other ingredients for the sauce, stir in the walnuts, season, and then leave to one side.

4. Preheat the oven to 390°F (200°C).

5. Flake the trout into pieces and put them into a bowl, adding the chopped parsley and a good grind of black pepper. Add the potatoes, breaking them up as you do so. Combine well and season with salt.

6. Fashion the fishcakes inside a pastry-cutter mould of about 2 inches (6 or 7cm) in diameter, or shape them with your hands. When forming the cakes, you will need to press and compact them a little to prevent them from falling apart.

7. Put the flour on one plate, the breadcrumbs on another, and beat the eggs in a bowl.

8. Flour both of the flat sides of each fishcake — do not flour the circumference as they will be only shallow-fried. Now very carefully dip the floured sides in the beaten egg and then into the breadcrumbs, and repeat until all the cakes are done. If your cakes are collapsing, keep them in the mould until crumbed, as this helps keep everything together.

9. Put a small frying pan on the stove and heat the butter and oil. Put the fishcakes into the pan — they should sizzle immediately. However, do not cook them too fast and burn the breadcrumbs; just regulate the heat accordingly.

10. Cook the fish cakes on one side for 4 minutes or so, until they are a deep golden color. Then turn them over and put the cakes into the oven for about 8 minutes.

11. Serve with the walnut sauce, accompanied by watercress.


Q. What's the difference between the Hot-Smoked trout called for in this recipe and Cold-Smoked trout?
A. Hot smoked trout produces a thoroughly cooked fish, by smoking it over several hours at temperatures ranging from 120° to 180°F.* To the untrained eye, some hot smoked preparations can look the same as cold smoked in the package, so be sure to read the label carefully. Hot smoked trout can be packaged to have an unrefrigerated shelf life of up to 5 years. It is great to keep in the pantry for an impromptu meal or hors d’oeuvres for unexpected guests.

Cold smoked trout must be refrigerated. The fish are filleted and the sides are covered in a layer of salt for up to six hours to cure. The fish are then dried for several hours before cold smoking, a slow process at a low temperature: 70°F to 90°F for one day to three weeks. Since the fish are not cooked, the interior texture of the fish remains smooth. Cold smoked trout is sold sliced or in sides and is often sold vacuum packed in see-through packaging. If it’s in a refrigerated case, it’s cold-smoked salmon.

Smoked Trout Fishcake


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