Little Fish Cakes

Here’s another dish I tried for my nutrition class project of trying 5 new, whole foods…sardines!  Don’t run away!!  These were actually really good!  Sardines definitely have a bad reputation, but they’re a nutritional powerhouse and are a good sustainable fish.  Sardines are high in vitamin B12 (especially important for people who don’t eat meat), omega-3 fatty acids (these are the good fats that we need more of), protein, phosphorus, vitamin D, and calcium.  All that good stuff and they’re pretty low in calories too!  So why are we so afraid of some little fishes?

Ok, I have to admit there is something weird about the cans that they come in…not sure why they don’t come in a normal tuna-style can, and they’re really unappetizing looking when you open the can, but it’s not exactly like canned tuna’s a looker, right?  So once you get past those aversions you can focus on this  tasty recipe.  These were quite simple to prepare and I even served them to my aunt and uncle who stopped by unexpectedly for dinner and they liked them too.  The panko provides a nice crispy exterior, and the potato pairs nicely with the slight fishy taste.  Adding herbs helps keep these cakes tasting fresh.  I forgot to make some, but this would be great with a tartar sauce.  On their own they’re the perfect accompaniment to a salad or a bowl of soup.  I’ll definitely make these again and look forward to trying variations on these so I can up my fish intake.  After all, it’s recommended that adults get 2 servings of fatty fish per week.  What’s your favorite way of serving fish?

Little Fish CakesLittle Fish Cakes (A Seat at the Table)

Makes about 8 small patties

Adapted from The Professional Palate

  • 1 medium red potato
  • 2 cans (about 4oz each) skinless, boneless, sardines in water, drained
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 2 Tbsp dried dill (use 4 Tbsp fresh if you have it)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • panko (about 1/2 cup)
  • canola oil for frying

Boil the potato for about 10-15 minutes, or until fork tender.  Let cool and then chop finely.

In a bowl, combine sardines, shallots, dill, eggs, salt and pepper, mix well.  Add potato and mix well.  Form into about 8 patties, then dredge each patty in panko crumbs.

Pour oil into a pan, until the bottom is covered, and heat over medium heat.  Add cakes to the skillet (in batches if necessary) for about 2-3 minutes per side, or until heated through and golden on the outside.  Serve immediately.

Maple-Mustard Glazed Salmon

Last week was Mom and Sister’s birthdays.  And while I didn’t get to celebrate in person with Sister (yet) this year, Mom requested a salmon dinner on the night of big day.  As you may have guessed from my surprisingly few seafood recipes, seafood is something I haven’t quite mastered yet.  And this was an especially tall order because my mom happens to make the best salmon in town!  That’s quite the high standard to make both a birthday dinner and the birthday girl’s own specialty!  But I’m not one to back down from a challenge (culinary at least), so salmon it was!  Mom also requested that it be mustard-y…so after a bit of googling to get an idea of how to cook it, I whipped up this glaze, and I have to say the results were mighty fine!  The birthday Mom had a wonderful day, a delicious dinner and was a happy camper, what more could you ask for?Maple-Mustard Glazed Salmon meal

I served this with roasted garlic potatoes (fancy colorful ones!), and steamed broccoli.  This meal was a synch to put together and only takes about 40 minutes (or however long your potatoes cook), the fish is done in less then 10…now that’s what I call a good weeknight meal!

Maple-Mustard Glazed Salmon

Serves 3

  • 4 tsp Dijon mustard (I used a combination of whole grain and creamy)
  • 1 Tbsp Maple syrup
  • 4 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp dill
  • 3 (6oz) salmon filets
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a small bowl, whisk together the first 5 ingredients until well combined.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray.  Remove salmon from the fridge, rinse and pat Maple-Mustard Glazed Salmondry, place the salmon skin-side down on the baking sheet.  Season with salt and pepper.  Turn on the broiler, and with the oven rack in the middle (not too close to the broiler), cook the salmon for 2-3 minutes.  Remove the pan and carefully pour the glaze over the filets.  Return the fish to the oven and cook for 4-6 more minutes or until the salmon is fork tender.

Ginger and Sesame Baked Tilapia

White fish can be kind of boring, but this just means it’s a great blank slate for more exciting flavors.  I used tilapia for this, but you can use whatever white fish looks good at the store.  Fish is a great low calorie protein source and provides micronutrients and omega-3s.  I’d recommend serving this with brown rice or quinoa and a side vegetable (although I served it with Roasted Eggplant, the flavors competed so I’d recommend something a little blander to really let the fish shine).

This is a really fast recipe, so it’s great for a weeknight, or on a busy day when you’ve been running errands (like grocery shopping so your fish is super fresh), it probably takes less than 30 minutes to have delicious flavorful fish.  You can also use frozen fish if that’s what you have on hand, just take it out the night before and let it thaw in the fridge before cooking.

Ginger and Sesame Baked TilapiaGinger and Sesame Tilapia

Serves 4-6

Adapted from The Kitchn

  • 3 large tilapia fillets
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 2 inches ginger, peeled and grated (I recommend keeping your ginger root frozen and then finely chopping it after you’ve peeled it.  It’s less stringy when frozen)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • chopped cilantro and/or scallions for garnish

Preheat oven to 475°F.  Rinse and pat the fish dry and season lightly with salt and pepper.  Ginger and Sesame Tilapia FishPlace fish in glass baking dish (I overlapped the thinner parts of the fish to get it all in the pan which worked well).  In a blender, food processor, or magic bullet, blend minced garlic, grated ginger, soy sauce, white wine, and sesame oil.  Pour sauce over the fish and rub it in a little.  Bake for 8-10 minutes until fork tender (fish should flake a bit when poked with a fork).

Tuna Melt

Sister moved to NYC with her boyfriend, Chris, and near their apartment is this adorable restaurant that has THE BEST tuna melt.  It’s amazing.  Since I don’t get up to NYC often enough (and because Sister mocks me for wanting to only eat at one restaurant the whole time I’m there), I had to try to recreate their super tasty tuna melt.

Lemony Tuna Salad

Serves 4

  • 1 large can tuna (in water), drained
  • 1/3 cup carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 Tbsp light mayonnaise
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tsp dried dill
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.  Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

Top your choice of bread with tuna salad and extra sharp cheddar cheese, toast until melted.  Devour!