Salmon Fishcakes with Ketchup and Peas (or is it Catsup..? Ketchup..? Castup..?)
Friday nights usually find me slumped on the couch in front of the computer or TV, with no desire to move. Take-away would be the obvious choice for dinner, but it gets expensive, and besides, my freezer is full to bursting point. During my How to Eat project in 2005-06, I got into the habit of stashing all leftovers away in my freezer, to cope with the incredible quantities of food I was cooking. However, I soon realised that unless I stored the leftovers correctly - double wrapped, labelled and dated - they would just be wasted, lost in the icy depths of the freezer, unrecognisable and most likely inedible.
Nowadays I have (almost) everything in my freezer labelled, and carefully stored in Glad bags and Decor Tellfresh containers. It's still a mess in there, but at least now I can identify everything when I do start searching through there. I've got egg whites, frozen cubed watermelon, stews, soups, stock, ice-creams, brownies, muffins and fishcakes!
I made these months ago when we had heaps of mashed potatoes leftover from a dinner. They're loosely based on Nigella's salmon fishcakes from How to Eat, but I didn't refer to the exact recipe. To the mashed potatoes, I added a tin of salmon, lemon zest, a beaten egg and some grated parmesan cheese, mixed it up and formed it into patties. (Wearing plastic gloves, of course - same aisle as the Glad bags and the Decor containers). To freeze them, you have to lay them out on a tray, and put them in the freezer. Once they're rock-hard, you can stash them in a freezer bag, then in the freezer, and forget about them!
Until tonight. According to Nigella, you can dip them in egg and crumbs (panko, please) and fry them straight from frozen. Then you just put them in a low oven (120C) for 30 minutes to heat them through. However, they'll sit happily in the oven for up to 2 hours, if that helps with your timing. Whilst the fishcakes were nearly done, I microwaved some peas to go with. I served them with lashings of ketchup, then parked myself on the couch for some Simpsons, Futurama, and Family Guy on Fox 8. The fishcakes were great, unhurt from their extended stay in the freezer. They were soft and warm on the inside, delightfully crispy and crunchy on the outside. Perfect comfort food and perfect comfort viewing.