Friday, 21 October 2011


on a wing and a prayer

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i'm toying with a food friday feature here. it will ensure after this month is over, that i've still got things to report. and really, it will keep me creative in the kitchen.

last saturday while i was being productive, i spent the time with bbc iplayer (on-demand bbc recent programming). nigel slater has a new show where he pairs two food combinations and explores the idea for the whole show. while i can find him slightly dramatic and pedantic, he's definitely encouraging creativity and substitutions in the kitchen, and really, the more people who are cooking their own food from original ingredients the better, right? this particular show was on crispy and soft. which is one my absolute favourite combinations.

the inspiration - crab cakes and mushy peas (a british delight). but i didn't have crab and (much to my surprise) i didn't have frozen peas. i did have canned tuna, and i did have frozen spinach. so? tuna fish cakes and creamed spinach. it was delicious.

here's his original recipe.

and here's my crispy and smooth dinner, it came together fairly effortlessly, it tasted amazing and since i had everything on hand, it was incredibly economical. i expect that most of us would usually have many of these ingredients to hand as well...

fishcakes and creamed spinach (serves 2)

for the fishcakes
  • 1 can of tuna (or any cooked fish)
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced (or lime)
  • 1 deseeded chilli, diced (optional)
  • 1 shallot, diced (or green onions)
  • a handful parsley, chopped
  • 100g/4oz breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
for the creamed spinach
  • 1 cup frozen spinach
  • 1/4 cream
  •  2 tbsp butter

    drain tuna. in a large bowl combine lemon zest, then juice, chilli, shallot, parsley, breadcrumbs and egg. mix with hands. form mixture into four patties. set on plate and place in fridge for 30 min to firm up. 

    melt butter in small saucepan over low heat. add frozen spinach and allow to steam off extra water. when still wet but no visible liquid, stir in cream, and simmer until thickened. season with salt and pepper. remove from heat. 

    heat a large frying pan over medium heat, add 1 tbsp of olive oil to hot pan. when oil shimmers add fishcakes. don't play too much! just let the crust develop, about 5-7 min. turn over and fry for the same amount of time.

    serve hot on a bed of creamed spinach with choice of sauces - homemade ketchup and some south carolina remoulade went nicely.


  1. I love creamed spinach and I would love to see a "food Friday" - great idea!

    My favourite crispy-creamy-combo-in-one-food is Spanish - croquetas (basically, thick bechamel with chopped hard boiled egg and either ham, cod, or mushrooms, or anything you like, really, shaped into small logs, rolled in breadcrumbs, and fried in olive oil. Yummmm.)

  2. oh tall girl you are making me hungry!