Monday, October 24, 2011

Panfried Hake with Potato Crab Cake – A Sofishticated Dish!

Pin It The fact that I live a stone’s throw from Glendalough made it easy to persuade some English friends to make a long-overdue visit to Ireland.  Glendalough was not the only attraction. Here’s how my sales pitch went:

Fishing for compliments: Pan-fried Hake with Potato & Crab Cakes and Spicy Tomato Sauce

·        We’re less than an hour’s low cost flight away...
·        Your English pound will stretch so far against the euro you’ll think it’s made of elastic...
·        We have sunshine 365 days of the year – ok that’s stretching it slightly but not my fault the sunshine is above the clouds J

I promised them a céad míle fáilte (the hundred thousand welcomes, compulsory under Irish law).  I promised them the countryside would soothe their stressed-out souls with its wild beauty.  I promised them that the food would get their taste buds dancing like Michael Flatley. The Guinness got them thinking they could dance like Michael Flatley – but that’s another story...
Their timing made them the perfect guineapigs for my Irish Food Bloggers Association Salon du Blog creation...
Potato + Crab + Chillies = Hot Stuff!!!
These friends are pescatarians. Woohoo! Give me fish and potato in any form and I’m one happy girl. This magical combination can be moules frites and a glass of Rosé... sigh ... or fish n chips eaten from the paper while seagulls swoop ever closer in an attempt to share in the feast. However, sometimes a girl needs something a little more so-fish-ticated...  

Don’t be put off by the list of ingredients - most, you will already have in the cupboard. Everything except for the fish can be prepared in advance.

For 4 servings you will need...

Spicy Tomato Sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 fat garlic cloves, crushed
300mls pasata (or a tin of tomatoes, sieved)

1 red chilli, finely chopped
1 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
a pinch of salt
freshly ground black pepper

To make the tomato sauce, heat the olive oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and garlic. Lower the heat and cook gently for about 5 minutes until the onion has softened without colouring. Then add in the remaining ingredients and let the sauce bubble gently for about 10 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated.

Oh crumbs!

Potato Crab Cakes
400g Rooster potatoes, boiled, then ‘riced’ or mashed and cooled
200g crab meat
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
1 green chilli, finely chopped
3 spring onions, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander
1 egg, beaten
½ teaspoon salt
 ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper

3 tablespoons plain flour
1 large egg, beaten
125g fresh breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 180°C (fan)

1          In a large mixing bowl, combine the first 9 ingredients. Divide the mixture into 4 even portions and form into cakes or patties about 2.5cm (1 inch) thick.
2          Set out three plates or shallow dishes, one each for the flour, the breadcrumbs and the beaten egg. Dust each potato cake with flour, then dip in egg and cover with breadcrumbs. [If preparing in advance, cover and place in the fridge at this stage. Place in a pre-heated oven about 15 minutes before you start cooking the fish.]
3          Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown - 20-25 minutes

Tanned? Me? Well, just a bit...

4 boneless fillets of hake, each about 180g
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Fresh coriander to garnish

Fish - the ultimate fast food!

1          Brush each fillet with oil and sprinkle with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper. Meanwhile, heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Place the fillets – skin side down – in the hot pan and cook for 5 minutes. Then, using a fish slice, carefully turn the fillets and turn off the pan, allowing the fillets to continue cooking in the residual heat while you assemble the dish.  To assemble, divide the tomato sauce between 4 warm plates. Sit a potato crab cake on top and finally sit the hake on top and add some fresh coriander.

A saucy little creation!

Bask in the compliments as your friends sigh happily and start planning their next trip to Ireland. Pin It


  1. This is a wonderful dinner, you are lucky to have access to fresh fish. The crab cakes with potatoes looks like something I would really enjoy, especially with that sauce. I can get crab in tins, it may not be fresh but I can deal with it. Thanks for sharing your tasty seafood dish!

  2. This all looks so delicious!! I love that you combined the potato and crab! The fish looks great too!

  3. That top photo looks great--love the idea of combining the potato and crab in a patty!

  4. Looks very delicious. So the sun does shine 365 days but the rays not reach Ireland every day!

  5. Hester this sounds like a fantastic dinner! We have 365 days of sunshine above the clouds too!!

  6. Utterly delicious - this is my idea of perfect special occasion food.

  7. You would have had me at Guiness! What a beautiful presentation. I love a recipe with a list of ingredients that are most likely to already be in my pantry.

  8. Hester...I am always smiling when I visit your blog! I love your sense of humor. And I love your 'sofishtication'! This is a pretty amazing little number. And I especially love the combo of potato and crab in your cakes. You've got me dancing like Michael Flatley and there's no Guinness to be found here! Wonderful post!

  9. What a stunning dish and I think you were very persuasive in getting your friends to visit!

  10. I am already in IRELAND and want to come visit! I love Glendalough Hester. Mum and Dad used to take us there as kids. We stayed in a lovely old guest house very close to the falls and I have such wonderful memories of how beautiful that part of Ireland is. I will make a point (now) to take our brood there - perhaps in the spring though :0) Best of luck for the Salon de Blog comp. xx

  11. Well your sales pitch and sofishtication (love it!) have worked as far as France, Hester. I'd be over in a jiffy to share this with you and do the Guinness dance. Love how it's all put together yet simple and full of flavour. Definitely a winner! Love your one-liners, as ever.

  12. OMG Hester this dish looks amazing! Your fish is to die for. Crispy skin and moist meat JUM!

  13. You are TOO funny! Your friends will come again and again if you feed them beautiful and delicious dishes like this one! Your presentation is incredible!!

  14. You crack me up! Sometimes I think I can dance like Michael Flatley too. In public. My poor husband.

    Anyhoo, this hake looks totally droolable! Super sofishticated :) Buzzed!

  15. I visited Ireland (from Canada) for the first time this past May and totally fell in love with it. I can attest to the fact that Irish hospitality is superb and that we had some amazing food on our journey! I also agree that Glendalough is well worth the trip! We will definitely visit again in the near future.

  16. Visiting Glendalough was one of the best experiences of my life. Well, visiting Ireland in general. I LOVE where you live...Jealous! This recipe is so gorgeous, I don't even know where to begin with it. Makes my mouth water.

  17. How so-o-o- "Fish" ticated! I wish I had access to fresh fish, too. Like, Tina, I am happy to get good crab in cans, but that's it. Otherwise, frozen. Love the cakes. Love your words!

  18. What a gorgeous dinner! I am intrigued by those potato crab cakes, they sound amazing.

  19. You've sold me on a visit to Glendalough. I would love to go back for a visit.

    And a delish dish! It looks like the kind of homecooking I could go for today.

  20. This looks delicious I'd cross the Atlantic for this and Glendalough..

    If Glendalough is the Glen of two lakes this could be the Dish Of Two Fish.

    I hope Salon du Blog entry works out for you

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  22. An excellent dish, gorgeous presentation! I love the spicy kick in the sauce and the potato crabcakes sound very unique and delicious!

  23. You presented a very convincing argument to get your friends to visit. If you served me this dish, I'd be there in a flash.

  24. Great storey Hester, and beautiful photos. Top class. Love to see some of the Irish 'sunshine' myself!


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