Smoked & Spiced Roast Pumpkin Fishcakes
A heavenly autumnal twist to the classic fishcake.
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- 1 medium-sized pumpkin or squash
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- A few rosemary or thyme sprigs (optional)
- A few glugs of olive or rapeseed oil
- 200g smoked hake or haddock
- 1 lemon or lime
- 2 garlic cloves
- ½ red chilli or a pinch of chilli powder (more or less, to taste)
- 100g cavelo nero or kale
- 1 large mug dried breadcrumbs (or use polenta for gluten-free)
- Preheat your oven to 220°C/Gas 7. Pop the kettle on (you’ll use the water to poach the fish and the kale).
- Cut your pumpkin/squash into wedges. Don’t worry about peeling or deseeding. Pop on a roasting tray. Season. Tuck some herbs in there, if you like. Gloss with oil. Bake till bronzed and fully tender.
- TIP: the smaller you chop your pumpkin/squash, the faster it’ll cook.
- Scrape off the seeds. Scoop the flesh from the peel. Tip the flesh in a bowl. Discard, compost or nibble the seeds/peel.
- Place your fish in a pan. Cover with boiling water. Simmer for 10 mins, or till the fish easily flecks into pieces. Drain. Fleck fish into a bowl with the pumpkin/squash. Add a hit of grated lemon/lime zest and a good squeeze of juice.
- Finely chop your chili and garlic. Sizzle in a little oil till just softened. Tip into the pumpkin/squash/fish mix.
- Remove the softer leafy bits of the cavelo/kale from its stalk: just hold the stem with one hand and run your hand up the stalk with the other, tugging the leafy bits away from it.
- Place in a pan. Cover with boiling water. Let it simmer a minute or two, till softened but still bright glossy green. Drain. Finely chop. Add the mix. Give everything a good mix together – go on, get in there with your hands.
- Have a little taste. Adjust seasoning, if needed. Divide mix into 6-8 (depending on how many you wish to serve). Shape into balls.
- Coat each ball in breadcrumbs or polenta, till nicely coated. For extra thick crust to each cake, whisk an egg in a bowl. Dip each coated fishcake in the egg, then give it another coating of crumbs/polenta.
- Get a large frying pan hot. Gloss with oil. Fry each fishcake (in batches, if needed) till golden on each side
- Delicious served with chilli jam or natural yogurt mixed with saffron and lemon juice, or toasted cumin seeds and orange zest.
- VEGETARIAN? - Swap the fish for grated Bermondsey Hard Press. It’s a bit like Gruyere and the perfect partner for squash.
- VEGAN? - Use roughly chopped and toasted almonds in place of the fish. They’ll add lovely crunch to your cakes. Salted and roasted Spanish Marcona almonds are a particular delight.
- MEAT-LOVER? - Go for shreds of leftover roast lamb in place of the fish.
Crystal Palace Food Market http://crystalpalacefoodmarket.co.uk/