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Mediterranean Fish Cakes
(recipe, Zena Chew)
This recipe is Hannah Cordes' adaptation of a Bon Appétit recipe. For more about Passover cooking, read "Mighty matzo."
Aïoli sauce (see Note)
- 1½ cups mayonnaise
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 6 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1½ Tbsp. tomato paste
- 1½ tsp. hot smoked Spanish paprika, or 1¼ teaspoons Hungarian sweet paprika and ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 lb. mild white fish fillets (such as orange roughy or halibut), cut into ½-inch cubes
- 1 cup finely chopped leeks
- 6 garlic cloves, chopped
- 6 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
- 3 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
- 2 tsp. coarse kosher salt
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- ¾ tsp. ground black pepper
- ¼ tsp. ground cayenne pepper
- ⅓ cup matzo meal
- 1 large egg
- ¾ cup olive oil (for frying)
- Combine all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl; whisk to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (The sauce can be made a day ahead of time and kept, covered, in the refrigerator.)
- Coarsely grind the fish in a food processor. Add the leeks, garlic, parsley, cilantro, cumin, salt, ginger, black pepper, and cayenne pepper; blend well. Add the matzo meal and egg; process until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally.
- Line a large baking sheet with plastic wrap. With moistened hands and using 1 generous tablespoon for each cake, shape mixture into patties about 2 inches in diameter and ½-inch thick. Arrange the patties on the sheet, then chill for about 20 minutes before frying.
- Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Fry fish cakes in batches until brown and cooked through, adding more oil to skillet by tablespoonfuls as needed, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer cakes to an unlined baking sheet. (The cakes can also be made a day in advance; refrigerate until cold, then cover with foil and keep refrigerated. Rewarm, uncovered, in a 350-degree oven for about 10 minutes.)
- Arrange warm fish cakes on plates. Spoon aïoli alongside and serve.
If you're short on ingredients or in a hurry, make a sauce out of just the mayo and the paprika.