Traverse City Record-Eagle


March 6, 2014

Nancy Krcek Allen: Marriage made in winter kitchen

Nancy Krcek Allen has been a chef-educator for more than 25 years and has taught professional and recreational classes in California, New York City and Michigan. Her culinary textbook, “Discovering Global Cuisines” was released in March 2013.


Fast and Easy Fish Cakes

Leftover plain mashed potatoes are perfect for these cakes. Play with the ingredients: leftover grilled and shredded chicken or pork, bits of prosciutto or cooked black beans or other legume.

Yields about 2-1/2 c. mixture or 10 1/4-c.-sized cakes

15 to 16 oz. Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled

9 oz. smoked whitefish or 5 oz. (1 c.) salmon from pouch or can

1/3 c. chopped green onions

2 T. chopped Italian parsley and/or 1 tablespoon chopped capers

1 egg, beaten

Optional Breading

5 to 6 T. flour

2 oz. fresh white breadcrumbs, about 1 cup

For Sautéing

2 T. unsalted butter

2 T. olive oil

For Serving

Salad greens and vinaigrette

Dice potatoes into 1-inch cubes. Set up a vegetable steamer and bring the water to a boil. Pour potatoes into steamer and cook until tender, 12-14 minutes. Pour potatoes into large mixing bowl and mash potatoes with masher or fork until only slightly lumpy. Cool potatoes until just warm.

Break fish into large flakes. Discard skin and bones to yield about 1 cup flaked fish. Fold fish into warm potatoes. Stir in green onions, parsley and/or capers and 1 tablespoon beaten egg. Season with salt and pepper.

To form cakes: Press potato mixture into a 1/4-cup dry measuring cup and level off. Tap out fish cake onto sheet pan. Form cake with hands into 3/8” thick by 2-inch cakes. Fish cakes may be fried “naked.” Or they may be breaded.

Pour remaining egg into a shallow bowl. Pour flour into a second bowl and the breadcrumbs into a third bowl. Dip each fish cake into flour, a bit of egg, and lastly, press into the breadcrumbs. Press and form each cake then refrigerate 15 to 20 minutes.

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