Sunday, 13 July 2014

Tuna and Chive Cakes Recipe

Today's supper is for something lighter... a cheap supper dish whose main ingredient is mashed potato and tinned tuna.

Of course, if you have a fish dish accompanied by potatoes you can mash the potatoes and then flake the fish to use the recipe below as the basis of a leftovers dish.

The version I am presenting here is slightly more chefy than many other fish cakes you will see, but that just enhances the flavour and prevents them from being bland and boring. Indeed, I used this recipe to persuade my wife to make more roasted and poached fish, as she knew that the leftovers would be converted into this recipe!!

I hope you enjoy these as much as she does.

Tuna and Chive Cakes

Serves: 4–6
Tuna and Chive Cakes Recipe: Simple to make yet flavoursome crispy tuna and chive cakes that can be used as a base for using up any leftover fish or potatoes. A few chefy twists make this a delicious supper dish that you can prepare from leftovers.


500g (1 lb) potatoes, peeled and boiled until tender
4 x 225g (8 oz) tins of tuna in brine, drained
1 onion, grated
finely-grated zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon
6 tbsp sour cream
1 tbsp chives, finely copped
125g (1 cup) plain flour
3 eggs, lightly beaten
3 1/2 tbsp breadcrumbs
oil for shallow frying


When the potatoes are tender, drain and then mash until smooth. In a bowl, combine the mashed potatoes with the tuna, onion, lemon zest, lemon juice, sour cream and chives.

Shape the resultant mixture into patties.

Add the eggs, flour and breadcrumbs to separate bowls.

Dip the fishcakes first into the flour (shake off any excess) then dip into the egg and then into the breadcrumbs, ensuring that they are evenly coated.

Heat oil in a frying pan, add the fishcakes and cook in batches until golden brown and heated through.

Serve hot with a fresh salad and rice.

If you enjoyed this recipe, and would like more ideas for how to use up your leftovers, why not visit the Celtnet Leftovers recipes and cookery suggestions pages?

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Baked Egg Custard Recipe

A custard is essentially a blend of eggs and liquid, where the mixture is then either baked, simmered or microwave until the mixture thickens. The classic custard is made with eggs and milk or cream, but any liquid can be used and in the past this was made from a blend of nut milks and eggs.

The ancient Romans were the first to write down the recipe for a custard and they enjoyed egg custards, flavoured with fish sauce as both an accompaniment and a dessert.

Egg custards are so fundamental in cooking (many pies, all quiches and a number of desserts depend on them) that I am giving  a recipe for a basic (but tasty nonetheless) dessert custard here today.

Add a topping of caramelized sugar and you have a brûlée. If you top with fruit purée, then you have a cheat's cheesecake. The bas is just so versatile...

Baked Egg Custard

Serves: 4–6
Baked Egg Custard: A classic yet simple to prepare dessert dish that can also be used as the base for a brûlée, cheat's cheesecake or a trifle. This modern version is almost identical to the Ancient Roman original (excepting the fish sauce!!)


1 egg, lightly beaten
100g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
500ml (2 cups) milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg


Brush a deep 1l (4 cup) ovenproof dish with melted butter or oil.

In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, milk and vanilla extract for 2 minutes. Strain this custard mix into the prepared baking dish then sprinkle over the nutmeg.

Place the dish in a shallow roasting tin then pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides.

Transfer to an oven pre-heated to 180°C (350ºF, Gas Mark 4) and bake for about 30 minutes, or until the custard is set and a skewer inserted into the centre emerges cleanly.

When ready, remove the ovenproof dish from the roasting tin and serve immediately.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Sweet and Sour Eggplant Recipe

Today's recipe is a classic sweet and sour vegetarian eggplant (aubergine) stir-fry made from parboiled vegetables that are finished by stir-frying with sugar, red wine vinegar and chilli flakes.

This is a healthy and very easy to prepare dish, just make sure you use home-made vegetable stock to cut down on the salt!!

The use of garden mint lends this dish a very North African twist.

Sweet and Sour Eggplant

Serves: 4
Sweet and Sour Eggplant: A vegetarian dish that is an interesting blend of Asian and North African. Eggplants (aubergines) parboiled with garlic, onion and tomatoes that are finished in a sweet and sour sauce with chilii flakes and which is served dressed with garden mint. Easy to make, tasty and healthy too!!


2 large aubergines (eggplants)
6 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 onion, cut into eight wedges
4 large tomatoes, blanched, peeled, de-seeded and chopped
3 tbsp mint, chopped
150ml (2/3 cup) vegetable stock
4 tsp brown sugar
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp hot chilli flakes
salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
fresh sprigs of mint, to garnish


Using a sharp knife, cut the aubergines (eggplants) into cubes. Place these in a colander, sprinkle with salt and set aside to stand for 30 minutes. After this time, rinse the aubergine pieces thoroughly under cold, running, water then set aside to drain well. Once drained, pat dry with kitchen paper.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan and use to fry the aubergine pieces, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Now stir in the garlic and onion and cook for 3 minutes more.

Stir in the tomatoes, mint and stock. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook gently for about 18 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.

Stir in the brown sugar, red wine vinegar and chilli flakes. Season to taste with salt and black pepper then cook for 2 minutes more to allow the flavours to meld.

Turn into a dish, garnish with fresh mint sprigs and serve.

For hundreds more classic and modern vegetarian recipes, why not visit the Celtnet Vegetarian recipes and vegetarian cookery pages?

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