viernes, 31 de mayo de 2013

What´s happening?

 Things that happened since my last post:

The Iron Lady was not iron made and died.
A new case of corruption found in Spain.
It rains in London.
Historical Record unemployment in Spain.
Hot in London.
Chavez turns into a "bird" and he appears in a dream to his cloned successor.
Shooting at a school in Connecticut, USA. 27 dead.
Raining in London.
Armstrong drops his medals.
Increased cases of corruption  in Spain.
Obama gets rid of eviction and renews contract.
The pope goes and here comes the first Argentine. They drink mate in the Vatican.
A ray of sunshine in London. False alarm, it was raining.
Terrorist atack in the Boston marathon.
Two demons armed with knives killed a soldier on the street.
Kate has a bun in the oven.
It rained in London.

 Just a sample of what happens in a few months, in the world, from our screens, in our lives. And between news and news the new season Of Mad Men finally arrived, one of  my favourite series and I finally got hooked on The Walking Dead, a very well-designed and better performed series where zombies are necessary to the plot. Television series have changed a lot, with time, as the news. Now the series are designed to transport us to decades as wonderful as the sixties, in Mad Men or to hypothetical apocalypses full of hungry for guts walking dead. The television series (some, not all) have a team of talented writers with ideas that often seem out of dreams or even nightmares. Maybe that's we rarely get to see a good movie in the cinema. Good writers work in the production series.

Speaking of starving, here is my recipe for today. Salmon cakes are perfect for a starter or even for  a main dish with a salad. They are very popular in the UK, and you can find them already made in most supermarkets. You can fill them with any fish or filling , and  there are even vegetarian versions with cheese and onions, a very popular flavour here. The salmon is not my favourite fish, I find it very greasy and bland, but here in London is the most popular fish and it's not overly expensive. I prefer the smoked version, but in this case, the fish cakes and fresh salmon are coated with Panko, Japanese breadcrumbs that gives the fishcakes a more crisp and colourful coating(you can find Panko in Oriental food stores), you can also use normal breadcrumbs. They are served along with a refreshing and cool cucumber salsa. The original recipe is with canned salmon, mine has steamed salmon. The recipe is from the soporific  Delia Smith.


For the fishcakes:
 500g of fresh salmon or 1 x 418 g tin red salmon
 10 oz (275 g) Desirée or King Edward potatoes (weighed before peeling), peeled and cut into large chunks
 2 level tablespoons mayonnaise (see Related Recipe below)
 2 heaped tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
 2 heaped tablespoons capers, drained and chopped
 6 cornichons (pickled gherkins), drained and chopped
 2 large hard-boiled eggs, chopped small
 1 level dessertspoon anchovy paste or 4 anchovies, mashed up
 2 tablespoons lemon juice
 ¼ level teaspoon powdered mace
 ¼ level teaspoon cayenne pepper
 salt and freshly milled black pepper

For the coating and frying:
 1 large egg, beaten
 3 oz (75 g) matzo meal or fresh white breadcrumbs
 2 tablespoons groundnut or grapeseed oil
 ½ oz (10 g) butter

For the cucumber and dill sauce:
 1 lb (450 g) cucumber
 1 level tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
 1 oz (25 g) butter
 2½ fl oz (65 ml) crème fraîche
 1 dessertspoon lemon juice
 salt and freshly milled black pepper

To garnish:
 sprigs of dill
 lemon wedges


Steam the salmon if you are using the fresh one, for 15 minutes, let it cool and flake it. Keep aside.

Boil the potatoes in salted water for about 25 minutes or until they are absolutely tender when tested with a skewer. (Be careful, though – if they are not tender you will get lumps.) Then drain the potatoes and mash them to a purée with the mayonnaise using an electric hand whisk, season. .
In a large mixing bowl combine all the ingredients for the fishcakes together. Mix and season if necessary, cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator, giving it about 2 hours to chill and become firm.

To make the sauce:  peel of the cucumber with a potato peeler, as thinly as possible as the green bit just beneath the surface of the peel is important for the colour of the sauce. Then cut the cucumber in half lengthways and remove the seeds, using a teaspoon to scoop them out. Now cut the cucumber into ¼ inch (5 mm) dice.
Next, heat the butter in a smallish pan over a very low heat, add the diced cucumber and some salt and toss it around in the butter. Then put a lid on and, keeping the heat as low as possible, let the cucumber sweat gently for about 10 minutes, shaking the pan from time to time to make sure none of it catches on the base. As soon as the pieces of cucumber are just tender (but still retaining some bite), stir in the crème fraîche, dill and a little lemon juice. Season with more salt and pepper.

Now tip half the sauce into a liquidiser or food processor, whizz until it's smooth, then mix together with the rest of the sauce and set aside. When you are ready to cook the fishcakes, lightly flour a working surface, then turn the fish mixture on to it and, using your hands, pat and shape it into a long roll, 2-2½ inches (5-6 cm) in diameter. 

Cut the roll into 12 round fishcakes – pat each one into a neat, flat shape and then dip them one by one first into beaten egg and then into breadcrumbs, making sure they get a nice even coating all round.Now, in a large frying pan heat the oil and butter over a high heat, and when it is really hot, add half the fishcakes to the pan then turn the heat down to medium and give them 4 minutes shallow frying on each side. Then repeat with the other half, draining them on crumpled greaseproof paper.

Serve immediately.