Don’t wrinkle your nose like that!
I know what you’re thinking. You’re imagining smooth frankfurter-looking things filled with fish paste. No no no. What I’m suggesting is something a lot more palatable and, according to Best Ever Recipes: Appetisers (published by Hermes House, 2008), is actually Hungarian in origin, so no strange mix of tastes (like sugar in the snag) here. Bear with me.
Fish sausages fall on the piscine food continuum somewhere between fish cakes and fish fingers. They are firmer than cakes but full of herby goodness, unlike fingers. First the recipe plus notes:
375g fish fillets, such as perch, pike, carp or cod, skinned (I used dory)
1 white bread rolling75ml milk
25ml chopped fresh flat leaf parsley (actually, I used a mix — parsley, rosemary, oregano and a bit of dill)
2 eggs, well beaten
50g plain flour
Fresh breadcrumbs (or panko, the delightfully spiky large crumbs from Japan)
Salt and pepper
1. Mince or process the fish coarsely in a food process or blender. (Just check first to make sure all the bones have been removed.) Soak the roll in the milk for about 10 minutes, then squeeze it out. Mix the fish and bread together before adding the chopped parsley (or herbs), one of the eggs and plenty of seasoning.
2. Using your fingers, shape the fish mixture into 10cm long sausages, making them about 2.5cm thick. (Be careful because they’re very fragile at this stage.) Carefully roll the fish “sausages” in the flour, then in the remaining (beaten) egg and finally in the breadcrumbs.
(Step 2A. Put on a tray and put in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up the sausages.)
3. Heat the oil in a pan then slowly cook the sausages until golden brown all over. Drain well on crumpled kitchen paper. Garnish with the deep-fried parsley sprigs and lemon wedges dusted with paprika.
Here’s a pic:
You know, people are often a bit apprehensive about cooking fish. And it really isn’t helped by this cookbook. The editor of the book is Christine Ingram and she makes wonderfully affirming statements like:
* “Use this batter … whenever you feel brave enough to fry fish.” (Parmesan fish goujons) WHAT???!!! Brave enough to fry fish? Srsly?
* “If you can’t find Serrano ham, use Italian prosciutto or Portuguese presunto.” (Grilled asparagus with salt-cured ham) Sweetheart, if I can’t find Serrano ham (says Kaz from Johor), chances are I won’t be able to find prosciutto or presunto either, m’kay?
* “... this succulent tapas dish … tastes even better served with some home-made aioli.” (Chicken with lemon and garlic) Pity there’s no recipe for aioli in the entire cookbook then.
* “This is a well-known and much-enjoyed salad, even though its origins are a mystery.” (Caesar salad) A mystery … only if you don’t like food. (Hint: check out Julia Child.)
So, I like the cookbook, but am not too keen on Ms Ingram’s pearls of wisdom. Must be getting cranky in my old age but I hate it when people in authority either don’t do the proper research that is part and parcel of their bloody job or put off enthusiasts/students by making stupid statements. But the fish sausage? She is delicious!