The other day I had some steamed salmon. The salmon came in packs of two, of which I bought two. I cooked them all together, but this meant that we had one left over. I hate wasting good food, so I determined to do something about it.
We've often made salmon fish cakes for Baby before, for dinner. Well I say me, it's more often been The Hub, as Baby has been quite clingy. However, she's got a bit better about this recently so I thought that, on this occasion, I'd make them for lunch. It does help if you have left-over veggies and mashed potato too, but on this occasion I hadn't, so it all took a bit longer.
First I peeled and chopped some potatoes (about three or four) and a carrot. The carrot had to be chopped into very small pieces, so that Baby wouldn't notice it too much! Of course you don't have to use carrot - a few frozen peas or sweetcorn might have been nice - but I used carrot because Baby won't eat anything else at the moment. The carrot was steamed over the boiling potatoes, to soften it up a bit.
Whilst the potato and carrot were cooking, I took the skin off the salmon and checked for bones, as I broke it up, with a fork. Then I used our mini food processor to make breadcrumbs of a bread crust. The bread was The Hub's own, so completely dairy and gluten free - he made it with coconut milk, which has given it a slight sweetness. I have to say his bread made the best breadcrumbs ever!
The mini food processor was a bit of a mistake - even for my gadget-loving husband. We didn't ever intend to have one. We added it to our online wedding list, thinking it was a full size one, and didn't check the dimensions - doh! However, I have to say it has come in very handy for little jobs like making biscuit and breadcrumbs. Then, it really comes into its own.
If, however, you really can't be hassled to make bread crumbs, Hale & Hearty make some, which you can buy in places like Tesco and Sainsbury's. I've not used them, but it looks (from their information online) as though they are completely dairy and egg, as well as gluten free. Watch out for labels like 'vegetable oil' though - if you have a problem with soya, this may indicate a hidden unwelcome presence. That said, I enquired about their flapjacks the other day, and the oil which they used in them was palm oil - happy days!! I love their flapjacks!!
Once the potato was cooked, I strained and mashed it, with a bit of dairy free margarine and a little of the water in which the potato had been boiled. It is important at this stage not to let the potato get too soft - you need it to be a fairly stiff, in order to keep shape, when you mould it into fish cakes. At this stage you could add a little bit of pepper, salt and juice from a lime, but these fish cakes being mainly for Baby, I didn't dare! Her palate is so sensitive that she refuses fish fingers, if you get the wrong brand!
Next, I put a good load of oil (fish cakes require quite a bit) in the bottom of the frying pan and put it on a medium heat, to heat up the oil, whilst I assembled all the ingredients in a bowl and mixed them together thoroughly.
The breadcrumbs were emptied into a shallow dish. Then I moulded the mixture into two smallish fish cakes (for Baby) and two slightly bigger (for me). These were carefully rolled in the breadcrumbs. I believe you would normally dip them into a little bit of beaten egg, first, but I didn't. I have before and it all goes a bit wrong for me - like trying to hold a slippery bar of soap in the bath! If the fish cakes look a little bit bald, when they go into the pan, I just sprinkle a few more on top and press it down a bit. That usually seems to do the trick!
Cooking is fairly quick and simple - just cook either side until the fish cakes are lightly browned, by which time, the fish cake is piping hot inside and out. It's a matter of minutes really. Then you're good to go!
Just in case you're wondering, Baby ate just about everything I gave her - carrots and all! She was so full at the end, but just wanted to keep going! I ate all mine too, but I did think that they could definitely do with a bit of lime!
Weaning the Dairy Free Baby - Let's do Lunch