Updated: Aug 17
Neil Forbes is the Chef Director at Café St. Honoré. Located down a cobbled lane in the heart of Edinburgh’s New Town, this fantastic little French café has all the exquisite delights of good food. The kitchen’s secret is simple. Good, fresh, local produce. This means the á la carte menu changes daily to reflect the seasonal options, and it is backed up with a Café Classics menu.
The kitchen has a ‘Slow Food’ philosophy, meaning they get all their supplies and produce locally which in turn supports the local economy and reduces food miles.
The restaurant has won several awards over the years and with a chef director who is one of Scotland’s most passionate chefs, it is little wonder. This small restaurant has a big foothold within the industry as it leads the way in sustainability. Here at Taste Scotland, we are excited to get exclusive recipes with Neil Forbes and bring the Café St. Honoré to your home.
Fishcake Recipe with Wilted Spinach and Poached Egg.
A classic seafood dish which is perfect in its simplicity.
A few tips before you start:
- The balance between the lemon and the herbs is key.
- Scottish salmon works well but overall, avoid oily fish.
- For breadcrumbs, if you can’t buy them in the store, you can crumble cold toast.
- Ask your local fishmonger for fish pie mix.
Serves: 4 fishcakes
250g Fishcake Mix
3 Large Potatoes – peeled, boiled and mashed. No butter
Juice and Zest of 1 Lemon - squeeze, then grate the lemon skin
1 tbsp Capers
1 tbsp Chopped Parsley and Chives
2 Spring Onions – finely chopped
6 eggs – 2 for eggwash for fishcakes. 4 for poached eggs
Splash of Vinegar – light coloured is best
2 tbsp Plain Flour
4 tbsp Breadcrumbs
4 Big Handfuls of Spinach
Bit of butter / Salt and Pepper / Olive Oil
(This recipe calls for the mash potato to be ready.)
Heat oven to 180°C.
Place the fish mixture on a baking tray, season with salt and pepper, and put in the oven until just cooked – move it around if necessary.
Once fish and potato mash (dry and still warm) are ready, put them in a large mixing bowl with the lemon juice. Combine gently and carefully.
Add the zest of lemon, capers, parsley, chive, spring onions and salt and pepper. Be careful not to overmix.
Evenly divide the mixture into 4 batches and form into a fishcake shape. Put them on a greaseproof paper and leave them in the fridge until fully chilled.
In the meantime, sprinkle salt and pepper with the flour and put the mixture in a bowl big enough for the fishcakes to sit in. 2 whisked eggs go in a second bowl and the breadcrumbs go in a third.
When the fishcakes are chilled sufficiently, coat them in order: flour, egg, breadcrumb. Make sure to have an even, full coating.
(This is where the restaurant is always better.) Heat a deep fryer to 160°C and cook fishcakes for 5-7 minutes or until golden brown. Turn carefully if necessary. Afterward, place them in the oven for a further 10-15 minutes until the centre of the fishcake is piping hot.
Wilted Spinach and Poached Egg:
Once the fishcakes are in the oven and almost ready, you can focus on the sides.
For the poached egg, bring a pan of water to just below boil and add the splash of vinegar. Carefully crack the eggs into the water and leave for 3-4 minutes to cook.
For the spinach, put a small amount of butter in the pan and wilt the spinach. Add some salt and pepper but be careful not to overcook the leaves. It should take 2-3 minutes.
To serve artistically like a restaurant; put the spinach on a plate, place a beautifully golden fishcake and the poached egg sits on top of the stack. For the final touch, drizzle a little olive oil and add a good grind of salt and pepper.