I came up with these delectable little cakes the other day purely out of laziness.  I couldn’t be bothered to venture out so thought I would go for a bit of a shop in my own pantry.  You would be amazed at what you will find!  Most of us have a tin of salmon or tuna up the back somewhere so fish cakes were on the menu but instead of pairing them with rice or potato, I decided to use cous cous.  This got me on the path of mediterranean flavours.  Sundried tomatoes and lemon gave them a bit of zing and lots of chopped parsley helped to freshen them up.  Really quick to make and super tasty but something was missing……..a few left over basil sprigs to the rescue!

Prep time:    25 minutes                      Cooking time:     20 minutes                   $ Low Budget

Makes 12

Olive oil for frying

400gm tin of red salmon, drained

1 cup of cous cous

Boiling water

1 brown onion, finely diced

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1/2 a cup of sundried tomatoes, finely chopped

1/2 tsp of dried chilli flakes

Grated rind of 1 lemon

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

A good handful of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

1 egg

1/2 cup of breadcrumbs

Sea salt and cracked black pepper

Basil Cream:

1/2 cup of basil leaves

2 tbs of sour cream

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

Sea salt and pepper

Place the cous cous in a large bowl.  Pour in enough boiling water to come approximately 1cm above the cous cous.  Cover with cling wrap and allow to sit for 5 minutes.  Remove the plastic wrap and fluff the cous cous with a fork.

In the same bowl add the salmon, onion, garlic, sundried tomatoes, chilli flakes, lemon rind, lemon juice, parsley, egg and breadcrumbs.  Season with salt and pepper and then get your hands in there and mix really well to combine, making sure all the ingredients are spread right through the mixture.  Wet your hands slightly and make little cakes in the palm of your hand forming a nice sized ball.  Flatten them out a little and pop them in the fridge for 10 minutes.

Pre heat the oven to 180°C.  Heat a large heavy based frypan and pour in enough oil to just cover the base of the pan.  Make sure the pan is nice and hot (you can test this by putting a couple of breadcrumbs in.  If they start bubbling right away, it’s hot enough) and then fry the cakes on each side for 3-4 minutes or until golden. Place the cakes on a lined baking tray and pop them in the oven for 10-15 minutes until cooked right through.

While the cakes are in the oven place the basil, sour cream, lemon juice and salt and pepper in your blender or food processor.  Blend until the basil is well and trully chopped and you will have a lovely, foamy emulsion.

Serve the cakes topped with a lovely drizzle of the basil cream, a wedge of lemon, a drizzle of good extra virgin and a crisp, fresh garden salad………