After we got through the year when all he wanted was fish fingers and chips, my son went completely the other way—fish was off the menu, forever, he said. Then one day I improvised this simple version of fishcakes for myself, he stole a bite, and fish was back.
The tarragon and its licorice-like aroma give the fishcakes a nice boost, and the lemon and mayo give it some zip, slightly tangy. A potato ricer is worth the investment—saves time, energy, and lumps.
12 ounces potatoes, peeled and cut in chunks
1 pound salmon fillet, skinned
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
juice of half a lemon
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
In a large saucepan of lightly salted water, boil the potatoes till tender, about 10-11 minutes. Drain and let them cool. In the meantime, cut the fish into 3 or 4 pieces, place in a steamer basket and steam over a covered saucepan of boiling water for 4 or 5 minutes; remove from pan, place in a bowl, break into flakes.
Sprinkle tarragon over the fish, and stir in mayonnaise and lemon. Put the potato through the ricer into the bowl on top of the mixture (or mash separately and stir in). Add salt and pepper. Mix well.
Shape the mixture firmly into 4 patties. Sprinkle a light layer of breadcrumbs over, pat them in, turn and do the same on the other side. Store in the fridge under plastic wrap until needed (keeps for several hours). Remove from fridge 30 minutes before cooking. Heat the butter and oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat, fry for about 5 minutes a side, till the crumbs are dark golden. Serve immediately. Peas are a good accompaniment.