Dear readers, I have a confession to make. For the last two weeks I have been more or less living off ready meals and take-aways and haven’t actually done a whole lot of cooking.
Turns out, when you spend all day in the library trying to get your head around French philosophy, finding the motivation to cook a Masterchef level dinner, or just some pasta really, is quite difficult. And yes I am aware this is the most middle-class complaint ever. However, I assume nobody wants to hear about my perfect condiment combination for take-away chips (mayo, barbecue sauce and chilli sauce in case you were wondering) so I made an effort to actually cook a proper dinner on Friday night. And by proper dinner I mean something that I can make with what is left in my fridge and requires minimal washing up.
I am quite a big fan of fish cakes but I have yet to manage making a batch that don’t disintegrate entirely once I try to fry them. While that obviously makes no difference to the taste it is not quite ideal presentation wise, and God forbid I might not be able to instagram my dinner for a change! Essentially this dish has everything you want in your fishcakes, but without all the pesky making a cake shape business. Technically the fried eggs and spinach are sides rather than actual fish cake ingredients, but they make this a nice filling and semi-healthy dinner. You are welcome to substitute the spinach with any green veg you like, but if you are using something like broccoli I would suggest cooking it for 2 mins first so it does not end up being seriously crunchy, unless that is what you are going for. I think this is a perfect dish if you aren’t a particularly big fan of cooking, or are pressed for time. The whole thing should really not take more than 35 mins, and as long as you are able to boil potatoes and have the hand-eye coordination to put something into an oven, you are all set. Definitely makes for a great school night dinner with a glass or bottle (I won’t judge you) of white wine.
6-7 medium sized potatoes
1 pack smoked trout/salmon fillets
150 ml milk
80g spinach (or a cup of peas, broccoli, etc.)
4 spring onions
50g butter, cut into small chunks
100g grated cheese
Salt & pepper to taste
1. Start by boiling your potatoes. 20 mins at a medium heat should do it. If you are using new potatoes I wouldn’t bother peeling them; otherwise take the skins off after you have boiled them. Apparently this way they will keep more of their lovely nutrients.
2. While the potatoes are boiling get out a large oven-proof (are there any non-oven proof ones left?) frying pan and pre-heat the oven to 200C.
3. Add the milk, spinach and your smoked trout. Break the trout into bite-sized chunks with a fork.
4. Cut your spring onions into small rings and scatter across the pan, then add the butter and grated cheese.
5. Once the potatoes are done add them to the pan and also break them into bite sized chunks using a fork. Stir everything together a bit and season with salt and pepper.
6. Crack an egg into each half of the frying pan, then bake in the oven for 8-12 mins depending on the size of your eggs and how you feel about runny yolks. I used large duck eggs and they definitely needed 12 mins, but for everything else 8 will probably be fine.