Fishcakes with Eggplant Yogurt Sauce

If you like crab cakes, this is a great alternative with a Mediterranean flare.  You can form the patties and freeze before cooking on parchment paper in plastic bags, and pull out as many as you need from the freezer.  I like putting these fish cakes in small pita rolls or in a sliced dinner roll for a “fish slider”.  Top it with coleslaw and they’re great for a crowd!

Fishcakes (makes 12):
1 pound white fish fillets, such as cod or haddock
3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup red onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 scallion, white and green parts, chopped
3 tablespoons capers, chopped
grated zest of one lemon
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Cut the fish into very small pieces, about 1/4” cubes.  Place fish into a bowl and add the remaining ingredients and stir well.  Shape the mixture into 12 patties, just over one ounce each.  Place on a plate and cover with plastic.  Keep in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, or up to one day.  Pour enough oil into a frying pan to coat the bottom of the pan, and heat over medium-high heat.  Cook the patties in batches for 4 to 6 minutes, turning and searing until cooked through.  Serve the fish cakes with eggplant yogurt sauce.  Garnish with lemon slices and parsley, if desired.


Eggplant Yogurt Sauce:

2 medium eggplants
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons full fat plain yogurt
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
zest of one lemon
juice of one lemon
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
salt and pepper

Method: Slice eggplants in half lengthwise.  Drizzled cut sides with olive oil and place all four pieces on a grill, cut side down.  Alternatively, you can place eggplant halves on a broiler pan and place in the broiler of your oven.  Make sure the oven rack is 6-8” below the top broiler element in your oven.  Grill or broil eggplant until browned, then turn pieces over and cook eggplant for an additional 5-8 minutes, until the eggplant skin starts to blister.  Remove from grill or oven and allow to cool to room temperature.  Using a spoon, scoop out the eggplant (and seeds), from the skin into a bowl.  Discard eggplant skins.  Add remaining ingredients and place all into a food processor.  Process until mixture is blended, but not completely smooth.  Taste to see if more salt is needed.  Pour into a bowl and serve.

MainsEvan Wei-Haas