By Creake Abbey
500g of potatoes (Maris Piper or King Edward make the best mash)
300g of smoked haddock (undyed and whole fillet is usually the best)
200g of Cheddar cheese (any mature Cheddar will do – we use Horlicks from the Food Hall deli)
1tsp of Dijon mustard
80ml of milk to cover the fish
1 bay leaf (not essential)
10g of chives, snipped
a generous pinch of sea salt and ground pepper
150g of breadcrumbs (although stale white bread makes great breadcrumbs when blitzed up, we use Japanese Panko for best results)
plain flour for coating (season with salt and pepper as desired)
1 egg, beaten
equal amount of water added
Peel the potatoes and get them on to boil or steam as if you were making mashed potatoes.
Whilst you are waiting for the potatoes, take your haddock and lightly poach it in the milk, and throw in the bay leaf. Poach the fish in a low oven (approximately 140°C) for about 20 minutes or over a low heat hob. Once the fish looks flaky take it to one side and allow to cool.
Once the potatoes are tender take them off the heat, drain and mash.
By this time your haddock should have cooled. Flake the haddock with a fork, and keep it rustic. Do not discard the poaching milk!
In a large bowl tip the mashed spuds, haddock and the milk and give it a good mix. Add the milk slowly to ensure the mixture is not too wet. Try not to break up the fish pieces. Add the snipped chives and a spoonful of Dijon mustard to the mix, then leave the mix to chill. In the meantime prepare 3 bowls – one of plain flour, one of egg and water whisked and one of your chosen breadcrumbs.
Dice the Cheddar roughly into 2cm cubes. Once everything has chilled you can form the fish and mash mix into a flat handful and surround one piece of the cheese. You can make these any size you like but the bigger they are the longer they will take to cook. Once all your patties are formed you need to drench them in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs.
For best results deep fry at a low heat (140-150°C) for 5 or 6 minutes or until piping hot throughout or pan fry briefly to brown the breadcrumbs then finish in a hot oven (180°C) for 20-25 minutes.
Recipe published in Feast, issue 26.