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Decadent Valentine’s Day Desserts: Try one of these fabulous desserts for your loved ones on Valentine's Day!

Boston Cream Pie Bites  


Molten Chocolate Cakes 

Susan’s New York Cheesecake  

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Fresh Fish Cakes

Bring the hostages home.

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Fish Cakes plated 4.jpeg

Foodie Lit

Visions of the past intrude upon Katherine MacLeod’s day. She hears conversations and sees people and places. More than that, she feels the emotions of those she sees, which intrude on her dreams and awake times. What is she seeing? Piecing together her dreams and visions, her research and help from her friends, she puts together a story of the Underground Railroad that operated near her house, while connecting the past with the present.

With few neighbors, main character Charlotte and her family needed to be self-reliant, fully prepared for the seasons and to live a life that, like our own, has its difficulties and its joys.  Barbara Bull has expertly developed characters who themselves were slaves or who helped these individuals to freedom. Come By Here is a story worth reading. 

Fresh Fish Cakes


Yield 12-14 cakes

1 pound cod fillet, chopped into 1” pieces

3 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed

½ teaspoon salt

1 egg, beaten

1 small onion, finely chopped

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon thyme

1 teaspoon dill

1 cup breadcrumbs, finely ground

¼ cup vegetable oil

  1. Preheat oven to 350.

  2. Poaching fish: 

    1. Cut fish into 1” pieces. Season with ½ teaspoon salt. Add ½ cup water, almond or dairy milk. Place in a 350 F oven and bake for about 10 minutes, or until the fish is easily flaked with a fork. Or bring to a simmer in a skillet over medium heat, and cook fish for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. As soon as the fish can be flaked with a fork, turn off the heat and cover. Let sit for 5 minutes before draining.

    2. For either method, let the fish cool to room temperature, about 10 minutes. Drain completely. If you are not going to use it right away, refrigerate in a covered container until needed.

  3. Mashed Potatoes

    1. Place potatoes in a pot. Add water to cover. Add ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Bring to a boil then turn down to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes until potatoes are fork tender.

    2. Drain all water.

  4. Flake fish with a fork and add egg, onion, salt, pepper, thyme and dill. Mix to combine. Add mashed potatoes and enough breadcrumbs for the consistency to hold together when formed into a patty.

  5. Form mixture into cakes using your hands. You may use an ice cream scoop or serving spoon so that all cakes are a similar size.

  6. Warm oil in large skillet over medium heat. Place fish cakes in skillet without the cakes touching. Fry on both sides until golden. Carefully turn only once.

  7. Place fish cakes on paper towels as you finish frying them. Serve alone or with Cucumber Dill Sauce, recipe below.

  8. If you are not serving the fish cakes right away, place a piece of parchment paper in a lidded container. Lay the fish cakes between the layers of parchment paper. 

  9. To freeze:  Bring the fish cakes to room temperature. Place on a parchment lined pan and put in freezer for 1 hour.  Remove from freezer and wrap each fish cake in plastic wrap. Label and place in freezer bags for up to 3 months.  Bring to room temperature. For best results reheat in oven to retain crispness.


Expandthetable suggestions

Poaching liquid: If you wish, add 1 teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons chopped onion, 1 celery stalk sliced, and one carrot chopped. 

Fish to use:  Feel free to use haddock, pollock, halibut, flounder, tilapia, grouper, salmon or a combination.

Using leftover fish? If the fish is already cooked, mask with a fork and start at that point in the recipe.

Gluten Free: Use gluten free breadcrumbs.

Kosher for Passover: Use matzah meal in place of breadcrumbs.

Fish Tacos: Flake fish cake and place in a taco with shredded lettuce and a dollop of Cucumber Dill Sauce or a spicy salsa.

Fish Cake Sandwich: Place Fish Cake in a roll with a schmeer of Cucumber Dill Sauce or Salsa on top.


Cucumber Dill Sauce

This is a sauce that is great on almost any fish.


2 tablespoons onions, minced

½ English cucumber, minced

1 teaspoon white horseradish

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

½ cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon dill


Mix together. Lasts in refrigerator for 7-10 days.

Expandthetable suggestions

Other Toppings: Try red or white horseradish, salsa or hot sauce of choice.

Fish Cakes plated with sides.jpeg

Inspired by this month’s Foodie Lit choice, Fresh Fish Cakes are easy to make, delicious and economical. While I didn’t catch the fish myself, as the characters do in Come By Here, fresh fish is available in most grocery stores and certainly here in Charleston, on the Atlantic Ocean. I used cod but many fish can be used, see suggestions below. You can even use a combination of fish or use leftover fish that you have made for another occasion. Mash the fish and put into the recipe! A perfect use for leftovers. This recipe is dairy free but for a richer taste, you may fry the fish in butter. Try my Cucumber Dill Sauce, recipe below, on this and almost any fish. I like to make extra Fish Cakes and freeze. Fresh Fish Cakes are great for lunch (slip the fish cake into a roll for a fish sandwich) or dinner with steamed green beans and a wild rice mixture for sides.  

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