An Acceptable Cake for Dinner
Since 80 went to all that trouble encasing two entire whole fish in a salt and egg white crust, I painstakingly went through the leftover fish—scraping and pulling and plucking—to salvage all of that delicious, moist meat for another dish. So while everyone was drinking our donated wine (thanks to Anna and Jeb who sent us back from their wedding weekend with more than half a case of leftover wine from the rehearsal dinner) I was at the dining room table, trying to avoid touching fish eyes and collecting bones.
And I actually knew what I wanted to make right away – fish cakes. I love crab cakes, but never think to buy packaged lump crab meat. I’d rather hammer away at the suckers during a crab boil and beer fest. It’s one of the things I most look forward to in the summer. That and laying out at the Jersey shore (or friends’ balconies. I will have a balcony or roof deck one day!)
Red Snapper Fish Cakes over Bulgur and Greens
And actually, a lot of this meal is left over from the crusted fish adventure. That night we started with a goat cheese and sun-dried tomato spread broiled on whole wheat toasts. I used the rest of that loaf and made breadcrumbs. I tossed the breadcrumbs with onion powder, cumin, garlic powder, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and this (now don’t yell) spice blend geared for fish, which contains paprika, turmeric, garlic, lemon peel…
But first, in a bowl I went through the fish meat, making sure there weren’t any bones or other funkiness. I then introduced the breadcrumbs and spices, scallions, parsley and lemon juice, then added in one egg and a touch of extra virgin and mixed that all together.
I then lightly greased a pyrex, shaped 8 patties and placed them in the dish. Next I glossed the tops of the patties with a bit more oil. Oh, and while I was shaping, I pre-heated the broiler.
Now, remember the broiler is like that really good friend of yours, who’s lots of quick and dirty fun, but can’t really be trusted. So don’t walk away when you put the fish cakes in there. I’d check every couple minutes until you get nice browning, then flip and do the same with the next side. While it’s cooking, quickly throw together a salad of greens. If you happen to have some cooked grains (when do I not have bulgur in my fridge!) add that to the green as well. For my most current spin on bulgur, check my comment in the original fish post. Serve one or two patties over the salad. Dress with extra virgin, salt, pepper and lemon juice. I would have liked to make a sauce, but it was a Sunday night. Enough said.