Raiding the larder of ideas.

What one family eats, plans to eat, dreams of eating. Plus, other food and kitchen-related stuff from the home of steak-and-potatoes, pie and fresh green beans from the garden.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Roly-Poly Fish Cakes

Eat them up, YUMMM!
I sometimes crave crab cakes. This can become a hardship, now, for two reasons: I'm land-locked, and I'm allergic.

The first part is not much of a problem, really, since even in flyover country, they can still deliver relatively fresh or frozen seafoods. The allergies, though, are another matter. Really. I can't have shellfish. Regular fish are not so bad, but the last time I had those allergy tests done, I got a severe warning from my allergist about dosing myself up with antihistamines and gorging on Captain Bill's mostly-crab-and-pepper delights. Apparently, that sort of thing is not good for a body. Who would 'a' thunk?

Add to that, recently I learned I have a little trouble with wheat in all its permutations. No more bread crumbs. No more panko-crusted, peppered flounder.  No more beer-battered catfish. Not even a crummy Filet-O-Fish sammich from Mickey D's. 

Not that I'm destroyed by the fact that my fish must now be served naked as the day it was caught (well, nakeder, actually, since it loses its scales and bones, et cetera), but sometimes seafood likes the company of a tender ground grain as it goes across the tongue…tenderer than cornmeal, that is. Naturally, this led me to see if I could make a wheat-free fish cake which could make me not pine so greatly for the fjords…no, wait, that was a Norwegian Blue parrot, wasn't it? I only pined for a patty.

And, so, I set about trying to make something which could pass muster as actually good for me…and, in the process, I managed to get my folks to eat something besides the usual steak-and-potatoes they've grown accustomed to feasting upon each night.

And the best part is, it's pretty darned simple and light. No frying, no gigantic mess…it takes about 15 minutes to prepare, and bakes in 20 to 25 minutes. While it bakes, you might even sit back and enjoy this classic song. And, maybe a fish dance.

A fishy requisittttttttttttte…

Roly-Poly Fish Cakes


3/4 lb fresh or frozen (thawed) whitefish, cut into chunks (I, being an art fan, used Pollock)
1 3/4 cups crumbs of rice squares cereal
1/2 large red bell pepper, minced (about 1/4 to 1/3 cup)
4 scallions, chopped
2 Tablespoons sweet bread-and-butter jalapeño relish, optional*
2 large eggs plus the white of one more
1/3 cup lowfat mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper (I use white peppercorns)

Lemon wedges
Fresh baby arugula or other tender savory greens


Preheat oven to 450º F.

Grease a nonstick 12-pocket muffin tin.

For the crumbs: in a food processor or blender, pulse 2 cups at a time of gluten-free rice squares cereal (Rice Chex will be fine. I buy a regional store brand, because I'm cheap), until you have at least 1 1/2 cups of coarse crumbs.

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients thoroughly. Spoon into muffin tin pockets (I used an old-fashioned mechanical ice cream scoop. It's fast, efficient, and gives equal portions without your having to think too hard).

Bake 20-25 minutes, until the top is crispy and the centers are tender. 

Best served hot on a bed of lemon-spritzed arugula salad. Garnish with more lemon wedges , if you like.  These cakes also may be prepared in advance, refrigerated, and served as much as 2 days later (either reheated or served cold) with seafood sauce or tartar sauce.

Serves 6 (2 cakes per person).

*If you don't have sweet-and-hot pickled pepper relish handy, and still want that kick, you may wish to substitute 2 Tbs minced bread and butter pickles and about 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce (or comparable hot sauce. I know the trendy thing right now is Sriracha. If you use this, use it judiciously, so as to not overwhelm the other flavors).

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