Sunday, June 27, 2010

Food Revolution: Salmon Fish Cakes Accidentally Remixed

Last weekend I had my first accidental remix. According to the recipe I was reading, I was making Salmon Fish Cakes from Jamie's Food Revolution, but that's not how they ended up.

The main thing I'm using Jamie's book for is to learn new techniques. The whole point of it is to get people to cook, so surely he'll be really teaching people, right? I'm starting to think, well, not so much. His goal is noble, but I've had a couple experiences now where he seemed to assume I knew a little more than I knew. This time the results were nearly disastrous.

Specifically, I was steaming the salmon for the fish cakes in a colander above the boiling potatoes. This seemed like a really cool idea to me, but I was doing this at a rental beach house, and I hadn't brought quite exactly the right equipment. That led to water boiling up into the colander with the salmon, making it a bit soggy. The result, after the rest of the process, was too soggy to form into fish cakes.

However, it wasn't a total loss. A little later than I should have, I decided to stop trying to cook the excess moisture out, and just made it a hash for sandwiches. I added a bit of the salad we were making for the side, squeezed on the lemon, and came up with something that was still pretty darned tasty. I think it would've been far better if I'd given up on the cakes earlier, but it was still pretty good.

Jamie has the recipe for the fish cakes on his site, but on his site it's in metric. Use 1.25 lbs potatoes (about 2 largish potatoes) and a pound of salmon. I also used far less parsley than he advises; I think Jamie must have very small hands, because a "handful" or "small bunch" is always way too much; if I'd used what he advised, my cakes would have been green and tasted purely like parsley.

Despite my annoyance at this recipe (and the very mediocre Sizzling Beef with Scallions and Black Bean Sauce, which I didn't bother remixing and didn't think was very good), I'm going to continue working through as many of Jamie's recipes as I can. Stay tuned for his Chicken Chow Mein (and my remix thereof), as soon as I've had a chance to cook them.

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