Here in Northumberland we are so lucky to have some wonderful food producers and of course we have our fabulous coastline and a plentiful supply of fish. We like to use local food where ever possible so it was a treat to visit Craster and buy fish at Robsons, and this time Gary chose kippers. Kippers are a quintessentially English food, very popular in Edwardian Britain for breakfast.
Kippers! I loathed them as a child, on account of all the bones. The one good thing about having an AGA is that you can cook them in the oven and then they don’t stink the house out.
Gary loves kippers although I have to say I’m not so fond, and he’d decided Kipper fish cakes was the way forward. I agreed to try them on condition that we made them differently, because I’m trying hard to follow a primal diet once again which means avoiding grains, potatoes and legumes. This involved playing with some new ingredients and we had no idea if it would work. However, the result was delicious and we have some spare ones in the freezer now.
In the past I’d have used potato to make the fish cakes, coated firstly with flour, then egg, then finally breadcrumbs or perhaps oats. I needed to find some alternatives in the store cupboard if we were to create a version without the grains or potatoes. A quick raid on the larder produced; some sesame flour which I’d just bought as a potential bread ingredient, some millet flakes which I thought would help give the celeriac a bit more body and prevent them from breaking up during cooking and finally the ground flax seeds which I thought would give a nice textured coating.
So if you want a gluten free, wheat free fish cake, here you go.
- 2 oak smoked kippers, cooked in water with a small knob of butter,
- 1/2 a large celeriac,
- butter and cream to make mash,
- Millet flakes,
- 2 eggs,
- sesame flour,
- Ground flax seeds
- oil to fry
Poach your kippers and when they are cooked remove from the pan and leave to cool. Once they are cold, break the fish into flakes, removing as many bones as possible.
Peel the celeriac and dice into 1cm cubes, boil in salted water until soft. Drain and mash with a knob of butter and some cream. Don’t puree as you need some texture.
Mix the kippers into the celeriac mash. The kippers will be salty enough, so don’t add more, but a few twists of black pepper will help it along nicely. If the mixture feels a bit loose add some flaked millet and leave them to rest for about 1/2 hour.
Break two eggs into a bowl and whisk well.
Put some sesame flour onto a plate ready for coating the fish cakes and pour some ground flax seeds onto another plate for the outer coating.
Form the fish mixture into small rounds and coat them in the sesame flour, then put them into the egg dip and lastly into the flax seeds to give them a nice outer coating.
Fry in oil until brown, and then remove onto a sheet of kitchen paper to drain.
Serve on a green salad with a poached egg.
Alternatively: Just serve with a nice salad or perhaps some sweet potato chips and a home-made tomato sauce.