Tilapia, Pea & Cheddar Cheese Fishcakes


450g Tilapia, skinned fillets: 1
Bay leaves: 2
Milk: 300ml
Water: 150ml
Potatoes, peeled and cut into even sized chunks: 350g
Cheddar cheese: 120g
Spring onions, finely chopped (optional): 4
Frozen peas, blanched: 150g
Lemon, finely grated: 1
Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley: 1 tbsp
Snipped chives: 1 tbsp
Egg: 1
Flour, for shaping:
Fresh white breadcrumbs, preferably a day or two old: 85g
Rapeseed oil, for shallow frying: 4 tbsp
Sea salt and black pepper:

Directions:

Lay the fish and bay leaves in a frying pan; pour over the milk and water, cover and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes to gently finish cooking the fish.

Meanwhile peel and chop the potatoes into even sized chunks. Put them in a saucepan and just cover with boiling salted water. Add a pinch of salt, bring back to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes or until tender, but not broken up.

Lift the fish out of the milk with a slotted spoon and put on a plate to cool. Drain the potatoes in a colander and leave for a minute or two. Tip them back into the pan and let them dry for 1 minute, mash them and stir so they don’t stick.

Take off the heat and mix in the cheddar cheese, spring onions and peas, stir in the lemon zest, parsley and chives, season with sea salt and black pepper.

Season the fish with sea salt and black pepper and flake it into big chunks into the pan of potatoes.

Using your hands, gently lift the fish and potatoes together so they just mix. They only need a couple of turns otherwise the fish will break up too much, taste and add more seasoning, if necessary.

Beat the egg on a large plate and lightly flour a board. Spread the breadcrumbs on a baking tray.

Divide the fishcake mixture into eight. On the floured board, and with floured hands, carefully shape the mixture into eight fishcakes.

One by one, sit each cake in the egg and brush over the top and sides so it is completely coated. Sit the cakes on the crumbs, patting the crumbs on the sides and tops so they are lightly covered. Transfer to a plate, cover and chill for 30 minutes in the freezer.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the fishcakes over a medium heat for about 5 minutes on each side or until crisp and golden, turn down the heat if over-browning.

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