Turkey on Thanksgiving,
Pudding on Christmas,
Eggs on Easter,
Chicken on Sunday,
Fish on Friday,
But ah, me – I am such a dunce.
I went and ate them all at once.
— Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends
Haha! 🙂 Shel Silverstein is one of my favorite authors of children’s literature, and this clever poem made me think of all the times I either didn’t use leftovers, or I served them with an apology. There is no need to apologize when you serve my Southwest Fish Cakes using last night’s leftover cooked fish!
I frequently cook dinner for my adult kids, and on a recent evening, I also entertained our close friends just staying the night in Las Cruces… 9 in all! We grilled fish for fish tacos, and as is so often the case, we made way too much fish! My always hungry 6′-4″ son Gaelen and his statuesque bride Kelsey who is 6′-0″ have hearty appetites, and I don’t want them to go hungry. Thus, I usually make too much fish. 🙂 We actually had over a pound of grilled cod that I really didn’t want to toss. One of my posts last summer was Green Chile Salmon Cakes With Black Bean & Corn Salad, and I borrowed from that recipe to create this one. The salmon cakes used mashed sweet potatoes, but with the milder cod, I opted for yukon gold potatoes. These cod fish cakes have a bit of zip from chipotle powder, and lots of fresh herb flavor from the cilantro and chives. The Cilantro Crema – also used on the salmon cakes – provides a nice textural and temperature contrast.
Put a pot of water on to boil for your potatoes. Scrub them, and cut them in chunks. There is no reason to peel the unless you are averse to potato peels. Add a couple of teaspoons of salt to the water along with the potatoes. Combine the Cilantro Crema ingredients in a food processor until smooth, and set aside. While potatoes finish cooking, chop the scallions, cilantro, and chives. Add them with the flaked fish, eggs, chipotle powder, garlic, salt, and pepper to a large prep bowl. When potatoes are tender, drain, and mash. Add to the fish mixture.
Gently combine the fish cake mixture ingredients using your hands. Do NOT overmix. Divide into 4 to 6 portions. Gently form into balls. Press the balls into a bowl with the cornmeal. Cook until golden brown on one side. Gently press with a spatula to slightly flatten them, then turn and cook until golden brown on the other side. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels. Serve the fish cake with a generous dollop of the Cilantro Crema.
I would suggest serving the Southwest Fish Cakes alongside grilled veggies or a garden salad with my homemade Cilantro-Jalapeño Ranch Dressing. If you enjoy craft beers, this dish pairs well with a saison or a hefeweizen. A crisp, dry white wine such as a sauvignon blanc would be a nice option as well. The next time you have leftover cooked fish, give this one a try!
A tasty way to use leftover cooked fish that doesn't taste like "leftovers!" Chipotle powder, fresh cilantro, and chives add a "kick" to the typical fish cake ingredients, while the avocado crema provides a creamy contrast in texture and flavor...
20 minPrep Time
10 minCook Time
30 minTotal Time
- 2 medium potatoes (about a pound)
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 lb. cooked fish, flaked coarsely*
- 3 scallions, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup cilantro, stems removed, finely chopped
- 2 tsp. fresh chives, finely chopped
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. chipotle powder
- 1 tsp. minced garlic
- 1 tsp. sea salt*
- ground pepper
- 1 cup cornmeal
- cooking spray
- 1 to 2 tbsp. olive oil or canola oil
- 3/4 cup plain nonfat yogurt
- 1 avocado skin and pit removed
- 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 bunch cilantro, stems removed
- 1 lime juiced
- sea salt and pepper to taste*
- * See Notes
Scrub potatoes, cut in large chunks, and put on to boil. Cook about 15 to 20 minutes until tender. Mash. Add to large prep bowl
While potatoes cook, chop scallions, chives, and cilantro.
Make the crema by adding crema ingredients to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse/process until smooth. You will still see flecks of cilantro, and that is fine. Set aside.
To the large prep bowl with mashed potatoes, add the flaked fish, chopped scallions and herbs, eggs, chipotle powder, minced garlic, sea salt, and a few grinds of pepper.
Gently combine. Hands work best. 🙂 Divide mixture into 4 to 6 portions. Gently pat into balls.*
Spray a large non-stick skillet with cooking spray. Add olive or canola oil. Swirl to coat. Add a bit more if necessary. Bring pan to medium-high heat.
Place fish cake balls in pan, leaving plenty of space around them. Cook about 5 minutes, then gently press on top with a large, flat spatula. Check to see if the outside is golden brown, and if so, turn carefully. Continue cooking on the other side until golden brown. When cooked to golden brown on both sides, remove to a plate with paper towels to remove excess oil.
Top each fish cake with a generous dollop of avocado crema. Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro and chives if desired.
Any firm, mild white fish will be fine. I've used cod, tilapia, flounder, etc.
When I say "flaked," I mean very coarsely like chunk tuna.
Don't forget to season both the fish cakes and the avocado crema! After you process the crema, taste it, and adjust if necessary.
Nutrition macros include 1/8 of the crema and 1/4 of the fish cake recipe, and are approximate.
Do you have any fabulous dishes that you prepare from leftovers? If so, I’d love to hear about them… 🙂 Also, I have recently connected my blog to Yummly, and have added a “yum” button to my social sharing buttons at the bottom of the post! Yummly offers many convenient features including a personal recipe box. You can “yum” my post to add it to your recipe box. I hope you will take advantage of Yummly if you don’t already do so. 🙂 If this recipe looks delicious, don’t forget to “yum” it…
Movers come to pack us up Monday, and load us Tuesday. Life is getting crazy! I’m going to do my best to keep up with my blog until we get settled in late August. What’s a food blogging cook without her kitchen? Thanks in advance for your patience!