OK. I admit it. Trout croquettes sounds a lot nicer and more intriguing than saying fishcakes made from trout. But that’s basically what these are.
People used to turn their noses up at fishcakes, but it’s been a staple in England for a long time. The economical British used leftover cod or other whitefish and added potatoes. The fishcakes of yesteryear were rather boring affairs. But today in the Northwest, you’ll find more tasty varieties made with various kinds of salmon. I haven’t run across any fishcakes made from trout yet, and trout is so readily available here in Oregon.
Eyeing my freezer still full of trout from Mt. Hebo and Detroit lakes, neatly vacuum-packed and sealed in plastic, I figure it was time to try a little trouty variation. The trick with fishcakes when making them with a strong-flavored fish such as trout or salmon is to tone down the mustard and other seasonings so that you can actually enjoy the flavor of the fish. And when making fishcakes, it always helps to make them a little ahead of time and allow them time to sit in the fridge so the cakes are easier to form and the flavors get a chance to be absorbed in the breading.
When it comes to breading, you have to make a choice. If you want a looser texture to your fishcakes, I recommend using crumbled saltine crackers, but beware that there’s a lot of salt in those crackers so you won’t need to add any more to your fishcakes. If you want a denser texture, I recommend using Panko (Japanese-style breadcrumbs).
When you think of it, though, fishcakes offer a way to economically add fish to your diet because you don’t really need a lot of fish, and there are so many things that you can add to the mixture to vary the recipe and make it more your own.
Here’s my version of trout croquettes that you can use to start from. You can substitute salmon and they’re just as tasty.
Oregon Trout Croquettes
- ½ pound (227 gr.) trout fillet, skin removed and fish meat sliced into chunks.
- 1 cup (240 ml.) Panko
- 1 cup (24o ml.) finely chopped red bell pepper
- ½ cup (120 ml.) finely chopped shallots
- ½ cup (120 ml.) finely chopped celery
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml.) dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml.) sweet pickle relish
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml.) Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml.) dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml.) salt
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml.) ground pepper
- 2-4 cups (.5 – .9 l.) oil for frying
- Process the trout meat in the food processor briefly until the flesh is finely chopped.
- Combine all ingredients except oil in a bowl and mix thoroughly.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate mixture for an hour.
- Lay out a piece of parchment paper on a plate or cookie sheet.
- Divide the mixture into quarters, form round patties and place on the parchment paper.
- Heat oil in a skillet and cook patties about 3 minutes per side until nice and golden.
- Serve with tartar or cocktail sauce.
Note: These croquettes are also great for making sandwiches. Top them with tartar sauce, tomatoes and lettuce, and they make great lunches.
A good wine to pair with these croquettes is a dry and fruity pinot noir rosé, such as the 2010 Willamette Valley Vineyards Dry Rosé.