Seasonal local food recipe No 83: Smoked haddock and parsnip fishcakes

From Sarah Raven’s Garden Cookbook. Good with a sharp tartare sauce or mustard mayonnaise, she says. They freeze well, so you can make lots in one go.

For 8 fishcakes

Preparation and cooking: 40 minutes

½ onion, chopped
75g streaky bacon, chopped
300g smoked haddock
1 bay leaf
6 cloves
275 milk
150g parsnips, chopped
150g potatoes, chopped
10g butter
chopped parsley
1 red chilli, finely chopped (optional)
salt and black pepper
seasoned flour
1 egg, beaten
80g white breadcrumbs
olive oil, for frying

Cook the onion with the bacon over a moderate heat for 10 minutes and put to one side.
Put the smoked haddock into a pan, together with the bay leaf and cloves. Pour over the milk, cover and bring to the boil. As soon as the milk boils, remove from the heat and allow the fish to cool in the liquid.

Boil or steam the parsnips and potatoes together until they are tender. Mash them with the butter and a dash of the boiled milk and season well.

Combine the onions, bacon, mashed potatoes and parships, parsley and chilli, if using. Barely flake the fish, and fold carefully into the vegetable mixture. The fishcakes are far nicer if the flakes of fish are intact. Adjust the seasoning.

Dust your hand with seasoned flour and shape balls of the mixture into cakes. Dip these into the beaten egg and coat with the breadcrumbs.

Shallow-fry in the olive oil until golden or bake for 15-20 minutes in an oven preheated to 180C/gas mark 4. They can be made in advance and kept on a baking tray in the fridge until you want to cook them.

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