Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Cheap, cheerful and fast: Fish pancakes

So I'm borrowing a few tricks from the food and restaurant industry.  The food industry has lots of tricks up their sleeves, and I don't see why we can't use at least some of them for out benefit.. Call it Food Marketing to Kids 101:  Name it something fun or associate it with something kids really like.  It works for us... see if it works for you.

So all of a sudden we don't like fish anymore.  One of those things that we learned at school.  So now we have fish ....pancakes!  Just in time for Lent when our only act of official observance is to try to remember not to eat meat on Fridays.  [We are post-Catholic...or collapsed Catholic at best.]  As of this writing, I'm on to Fish Pancake 3.0 ...and the good news is that the variations on the fish/pancake theme are many and only limited by your imagination and what is left over in your larder/cupboard/pantry/frig.   A Shepard's Pie for fish.  It's a good way to sneak in all those good-for-you extra veggies.    Another trick from the food industry, all those add-ins double your servings and bring down the cost of your meal.  A lot!  The difference is of course that these add ins are easy to pronounce and don't sound like chemistry class and you even know what they are and they aren't toxic sludge and might even be good for you.  But I figure it's been around $10 each time I've made this meal!  The primary cost is of course the fish so buy what's on sale and enjoy! 

The basic/boiler plate recipe borrowed from Sally Fallon's Nourishing Traditions

1 1/2 lbs of white fish 
2 pastured eggs , lightly beaten
2 small onions, finely minced [or leeks, garlic, finely diced chard]
1 cup of real bread crumbs [or finely grated and sauteed potato]
2 tblesp Dijon-type of mustard 
1/4-1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1 bunch of fresh cilantro [or finely diced and sauteed chard, spinach, greens]
1 teaspoon of grated lemon rind 
sea salt or fish sauce and pepper
1/2 cup of ghee of clarified butter for the frying 
creme fraiche

Place fish in a pan with filtered water and simmer gently until fish is tender. Remove fish and break up fish into very small pieces in a larger bowl.  Combine with eggs, onions, bread crumbs, mustard, cayenne pepper, cilantro and lemon rind.  Season to taste.  Form into cakes.  Saute in ghee until a bit crispy on out outside.   Top with a lovin' glob of  creme fraiche.  

Enjoy! Bon Appetite! Mange! 

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