Tasty, Easy Fish Cakes

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For 2 large fishcakes you will need:-
  • 1 medium potato suitable for mashing weighing about 150g ( Desiree or King Edwards have the best flavour) OR a small tin of potatoes OR 150g frozen mashed potato
  • A little butter and milk for mashing the potato
  • 100g ready to eat oily fish - this can be tinned tuna, smoked mackerel with skin removed, tinned salmon, tinned sardines, cooked kippers or a combination of several of these.
  • 2 teaspoons fresh chopped parsley or dried herbs 2 teaspoons lemon juice ( squeezed from ½ lemon or from bottled lemon juice)
  • 1 small gherkin or 1 tablespoon pickled capers chopped finely (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 tablespoons fresh breadcrumbs made from 2 slices bread grated OR 4 tablespoons crushed cornflakes OR small ready made tub of fine breadcrumbs OR 4 tablespoons dry polenta
  • 1 egg 1 tablespoon sunflower oil for cooking  (if frying rather than oven baking)
1. Turn the oven on to gas 6, 200°c ( unless you wish to fry the fish cakes see note at point 8 below)
2. If using fresh potato - peel it and chop into small pieces - about 2cm cubes. Fill a small saucepan half full of water and bring to the boil. Add the potato and cook until it is soft. Drain the potato and leave to cool. Mash the potato with a fork or potato masher until it is fluffy. Add a little butter and milk for extra flavour. For tinned potatoes open the tin, drain and mash with a masher or a fork. For frozen mashed potato defrost for 3 hours and mix well adding a little hot water or melted butter if the potato is dry
3. Drain the tinned fish and place in a bowl. Remove skin from smoked mackerel or kippers if using, and add to the bowl. Use a fork to break it into flakes. Add the mashed potato and stir the two together.
4. Squeeze the lemon and add 2 teaspoons of juice to the fish mix with a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.
5. Chop the parsley into small pieces and add  to the fish  or add the dried herbs. Add the gherkins and / or capers if using and mix well
6. Shape the mixture into 2 balls ( or more if smaller fishcakes preferred) and then press each down to make flat cakes about 1½ centimetres thick
7. If making breadcrumbs from fresh bread, grate the bread using a grater or food processor if available. If using cornflakes crush them finely by placing them in a plastic bag and rolling a rolling pin or similar over them. Put the breadcrumbs or cornflakes or polenta onto a plate. Break the egg onto another shallow bowl or plate and beat gently to mix the yolk and white together.  Dip each fishcake into the egg so it is covered and then dip into the breadcrumbs/cornflakes/polenta to coat each side and the edges.
8. Place on a baking tray that has been well greased or lined with baking parchment. Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown. Cooking in the oven is the healthier option however if preferred the fishcakes can be fried in a frying pan with a little oil for 5 minutes on each side
9. Serve hot with vegetables or salad as a main course or make mini fishcakes and serve with a dip such as tartar sauce or similar as a starter
Alternative herbs such as coriander or basil can be used.  Other flavourings can be added such as pesto, thai curry paste, tomato paste, horseradish, finely chopped pickled onions etc. Add about 1 teaspoon of the chosen flavouring with the lemon juice and mix well.  Other fish such as pilchards or tinned crab meat, cooked leftover white fish such as cod or cooked smoked fish such as haddock could be substituted for the tuna or salmon.
Vegetarian Version
Substitute the fish for a small can of chickpeas and 1 tablespoon frozen or leftover vegetables such as peas, sweetcorn or mixed vegetables, lightly mashed Add to the mashed potato. Ensure the mixture is well seasoned with salt and pepper and herbs, and if wished add 1 tablespoon tomato puree. After mixing shape and coat and cook as for fish version.

The Kitchen Front in the News!

We were very pleased to be featured in Hertfordshire Life ( August 2018) as part of an article about good businesses that have been awarded grants from The Hertfordshire Community Fund (HCF) and also in their Gourmet Life section .


January 2018 New Year - New recipes!  Chicken, Bacon and Vegetable Cobbler

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The cold winter weather calls for hearty healthy warming dishes and this delicious easy Chicken Bacon and Vegetable Cobbler is just what's needed. A Cobbler is a traditional dish that has a layer of light, tasty scones cooked on the top.  Great for using up leftovers, the ingredients can be tweaked according to what you have in the fridge.  The scone topping means the dish is a meal in itself so saving you time as well as money.


180g ( 9 oz) cooked chopped chicken (or 1 large raw chicken breast,or 2 raw boneless chicken thighs, brushed with vegetable oil and cooked on a baking dish in the oven (gas 6/ 200°c) for 25 minutes till cooked through)
3 rashers of streaky bacon
8 tablespoons leftover cooked vegetables or mixed frozen vegetables ( sweetcorn, peas, carrots, cauliflower, beans, peppers, onions etc - according to taste)
1 heaped teaspoon stock powder ( or 1 chicken or vegetable stock cube)
Small tin of chopped tomatoes - approximately 200g (8oz)
Other flavouring ingredients according to taste (such as herbs ( oregano, parsley, basil etc), 1 teaspoon chilli powder, 1 teaspoon tomato puree, 1 teaspoon curry powder, 1 garlic clove crushed )
2 tablespoons water

Cobbler topping
200gm (4 oz) self raising flour  
Pinch salt  
50gm (2 oz) butter or margarine  
Optional flavourings chosen from 50 gm grated cheddar cheese, 1 tablespoon mixed chopped fresh herb (parsley, oregano, chives or basil), 1 teaspoon paprika, 1 teaspoon chopped spring onion  
100ml ( 6 Tablespoons) milk  
Beaten egg to glaze

1. Turn on the oven to gas 6 /200°c
2. Chop the cooked chicken and the bacon into bite sized pieces. Place in a bowl
3. Add the vegetables, tomatoes, stock, water and other flavourings. Mix well and tip into a small ovenproof casserole dish
4. Cobbler topping
5. Put the flour into a mixing bowl,and add the salt
6. Chop up the butter /margarine and rub it into the flour until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs
7. Add chosen flavourings and mix well
8. Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in most of the milk to make a soft spongy dough, adding more liquid if necessary
9. Roll or flatten out dough to 1½ cm (½ inch) thick
10. Cut out rounds with 5cm (2 inch) cutter and place on the baking tray. If there is any dough left re- shape the remaining dough into a ball, flatten slightly and cut into rounds.
11. Place the scones on top of the chicken mixture. If there are any left place on a baking tray to cook separately
12. Brush the scones with beaten egg for a glossy top
13. Bake for 20 minutes until well the chicken mix is bubbling and the scones are well risen and golden brown
14. Serve on its own or with extra vegetables or salad.

Our new poster boys!

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We were fortunate to secure the services of professional photographer Penny Bird https://www.pennybird.co.uk/ who came to one of our Larder Louts cooking lessons to take photos for us to use in our publicity. The gentlemen attending were delighted at the prospect of being our new poster boys and we were very pleased with the results.  Some of the photos can be found on our website .... see what you think!


October 2017  The Larder Louts - Cookery Courses for active seniors in Harpenden

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We have just finished our latest series of cookery classes for older people.  We had 12 gentleman join us for the 3 classes in Cornelia's Coffee Shop in St NIcholas' Church, Harpenden. Over the 3 weeks we made Chicken, Bacon and Tomato Cobbler, Victoria Sandwich Cake, Fish Pie, Apple Brown Betty, Quiche Lorraine and a Lemon Cheesecake.  The course was very lively and  everyone was very proud of what they achieved. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive and the most frequent comment was that they wished they could come every week!  The recipe for our traditional, delicious and seasonal pudding Apple Brown Betty can be found below.

Between 300 and 350g (12 - 14 oz) dessert apples
1 -2 tablespoon sugar ( according to taste and the sweetness of the apples)
2 tablespoons raisins or sultanas
1 tablespoon water
75g (3oz) bread (about 2 slices)
25g (1 oz) Butter (2 tablespoons)
½ teaspoon cinnamon, mixed spice, or ginger (optional)
2 tablespoons demerara sugar

1. Turn on the oven to gas 6, 200°c
2. Peel ( if wished),core and chop the apples into small chunks.
3. Place into an ovenproof dish
4. Add raisins, if using, and sugar to taste
5. Add 1 tablespoon water. Put to one side whilst making the topping
6. Grate the bread or break up into very small pieces. Place into a bowl
7. Add the demerara sugar and cinnamon or other spices ( if using).
8. Melt the butter in a small pan on the hob or in the microwave. Pour onto the breadcrumbs and mix well
9. When all well combined spread the breadcrumb mix all the the top of the apples. Press down very gently
10. Place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes by which time the apples should be soft and the topping crispy and slightly brown
11. Serve hot or cold with cream, custard or ice cream
© The Kitchen Front 2017

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