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By Jenny Rosenstrach, Dinner: A Love Story
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Unforgettable Fish Cakes

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In a few weeks, I will press “Publish” on my one-thousandth post for this blog. ONE THOUSAND. That’s a lot of words, a lot of years, and wow it’s a lot of recipes.

It probably explains why I might look a little blank when I run into friends who tell me “I loved that pork chop with kale recipe or “your pasta with ham and peas was such a hit with the kids!” Because sometimes I have to think real hard to pull them up from my cobwebby memory. (At least I’m not alone in my forgetfulness: Last week, I sent Andy a banana bread post he wrote in 2012 and his reply was, “No recollection of ever having written that.”)

These fish cakes, though, THESE FISH CAKES, I will never forget about. Probably because I’ve been making them regularly for over 15 years — back when the girls sometimes ate dinner on personalized melamine make-a-plates — and they deliver on family-friendly deliciousness every time. I realized the other night that the recipe exists only in my first book — not out here in the wild world of the internet — and wanted to change that. You’re welcome! (And PS: If you have any ideas for me, the girl who wrote the book on celebrating, for how to celebrate 1000, I’m all ears.)

Fish Cakes
From Dinner: A Love Story

For the Dipping Sauce
1⁄2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1⁄2 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

For the Fish Cakes
3 firm flaky whitefish fillets, such as cod or orange roughy (about 1 1⁄4 pounds total)
1⁄2 teaspoon chili powder
1⁄2 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 egg, lightly whisked
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 large baking potato, baked and flaked (bake it in the microwave for 10 min- utes so it’s quick)
Handful of cilantro, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs (panko or regular), seasoned with salt and pepper
3 tablespoons vegetable oil Lime wedges, for serving

Preheat the oven to 450°F. To make the dipping sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, lime juice, sugar, and cilantro and set aside.
To make the fish cakes: Sprinkle fish fillets with the chili powder, oregano, and salt and pepper and roast 5 to 7 minutes, until cooked through. Let cool, then using a fork, flake into pieces.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, egg, and lime juice. Add the fish to the bowl along with the potato, cilantro, and more salt. Toss and, if you have time, refrigerate for 30 minutes. (This will make it easier to pack the mixture into patties, but it’s not a do-or-die move.)
Pack the fish mixture into patties and coat each in bread crumbs that have been spread on a dinner plate. (If you haven’t had time to chill the mixture, the patties will be delicate, so do this carefully. Also: I find wetting your hands helps to prevent sticking.)

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry the patties in batches of four and cook until the crusts are golden brown, about 5 minutes per side. Serve with the lime wedges and dipping sauce.

Photo by Jennifer Causey


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