Saturday, November 22, 2008

Red Snapper Cakes with Avocado-Tomatillo Sauce

We were watching the Food Network the other day and saw someone make fish cakes (probably on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, since we watch that show way too much). So we decided to make some fish cakes for dinner this weekend. I busted out this recipe which was very highly reviewed online.

Our grocery store doesn't carry snapper (fishmonger says it is "too expensive so no one would buy it" - love my town) so we subbed cod instead at his suggestion. I didn't feel like cleaning the food processor after making the sauce for the sole purpose of making bread crumbs so I just used storebought breadcrumbs. I also left out the capers. One of the reviewers for this recipe said something that I agree with wholeheartedly, so I will quote it: "And remember: any recipe that tastes good with capers will taste even better without capers."

It was pretty easy to make and was yummy. I can't say I loved the fish cakes, because I am so stupidly picky with fish, but he loved it. The tomatillo sauce was just freaking fantastic though. I would eat it with chips. I ate the leftover sauce with a spoon so maybe I don't even need chips. This is pretty good and we might make it again... maybe with a different fish. Cod doesn't do it for me.

fish cake

Red Snapper Cakes with Avocado-Tomatillo Sauce
Cooking Light, May 2006

Sauce:
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tomatillo, husked and quartered (about 3 ounces)
1/2 medium Vidalia or other sweet onion, quartered
1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeded
Cooking spray
9 tablespoons chopped ripe peeled avocado
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt

Cakes:
3 (1-ounce) slices bread
1/2 cup finely chopped Vidalia or other sweet onion
1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons capers, drained
2 tablespoons fat-free mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
14 ounces finely chopped skinless red snapper
2 large egg whites
1 teaspoon butter

Preheat broiler.

To prepare sauce, combine the first 4 ingredients on a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Broil 12 minutes or until blackened, stirring once. Cool slightly. Place tomatillo mixture in a blender; add avocado, 1/4 cup cilantro, juice, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Process until smooth. Cover and chill.

Preheat oven to 400°.

To prepare cakes, place bread in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs measure 2 cups. Combine 1 cup breadcrumbs, 1/2 cup onion, and next 9 ingredients (through egg whites) in a large bowl; stir until well blended. Divide snapper mixture into 12 equal portions (about 1/4 cup each), shaping each into a 1/2-inch-thick patty. Dredge patties in remaining 1 cup breadcrumbs.

Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Add cakes; cook 2 minutes on each side or until browned. Wrap handle of pan with foil; place in oven. Bake cakes at 400° for 8 minutes or until cooked through. Spoon about 2 1/2 tablespoons sauce on each of 6 plates; top sauce with 2 cakes.

Yield: 6 servings

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