February 21, 2011

The Fish Cake Incident.

This is not a food blog, but something very sad happened tonight. Maybe writing a food post now will  help me overcome my blues.

I have a few recipes that I make often. Like once a week. Or twice. They are my good old faithfuls. But once in while I love nothing more than venturing out and trying a new recipe. I love the excitement of possibly creating something amazing and it feels to me like making a friend for life.

A few days ago I have found a recipe for fish cakes on The Foodie. If I remember correctly it was even called ‘Easy fish cakes’. Yum. I don’t particularly care for fish, but for some odd reason I have a soft spot for fish cakes.
So tonight I wanted to venture and also try to make up for an unhealthy KFC lunch with reasonably healthy fish cakes and lots of Swiss chard.

I started boiling the potatoes, frying the fish - off to a good start. The problems started when I realized I was lacking fish sauce, the ginger had gone bad and I only had limes and no lemon zest as required. Oh well, I thought, improvising is the name of the game.

I first got the impression something might not be quite right when I poured soy sauce over the fish and potato mash, turning it all into a brown squishy mess. Was it supposed to look like that? I thought fishcakes should only be brown after gently frying them in oil. I tasted the brown mash - not exciting, but not that bad either. Maybe the frying does the trick me thought.

Next step on the agenda: forming the mash into little friable patties. Lots of flour was advised. Next thing I know my kitchen looked worse than the time when I tried to make Christmas cookies and my hands are covered in a thick layer of fish mash and flour. Somehow I mastered a few unshapely patties and off they went into the frying pan.
Have I mentioned that I somehow managed to over salt the Swiss chard completely in the meanwhile? Not sure how that happened…

The fish cakes were getting only slightly browner (fat chance as they were so dark to begin with), so I felt the need to try a crumb that broke off to determine whether they were done. “%&#!!*&@”. I had now managed to burn off the skin of my thumb and index finger completely in the attempt to fish out a piece from the scorching pan. Ouch. Now two of my precious fingers were sticking to an ice cube, which is wasn’t really helping.

Finally two little fish cakes were lying next to an entire bag of Swiss chard on a plate. I took my seat, I took my fork, I took a bite. What can I say? I knew before that fish cakes always like mayonnaise. I didn’t know they needed quite as much (the mayo was yummy!). Neither did I know that over salted Swiss chard could taste better than fish cakes.
*the fish cakes are too sad a view to show a real picture of them

What went wrong one may ask. I’m not sure. It may have been the beer. Or lack thereof. Beer drinking while cooking was mentioned multiple times in the recipe. I didn’t have any beer. It may have just been the secret ingredient, which I snubbed.
I will never know. I just wonder what was so bad about Woolies fish cakes to begin with?

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