500g (1 lb) potatoes, cut into chunks salt and black pepper 500g (1 lb) cod, haddock or salmon fillets (or a mixture of white fish and salmon 300ml (1/2 pint) milk 1 bay leaf 9 black peppercorns 60g (2oz) butter 4tbsp chopped parsley finely grated zest of 1 lemon dash of Tabasco (optional) 1 egg, beaten 175g (6oz) fresh breadcrumbs sunflower oil for frying tartare sauce (see box, below) to serve.
Puree 1 egg, 11/2 tsp sugar, ½ tsp mustard powder, and salt and pepper to taste in a food processor or blender until smooth. Add 300ml (1/2 pint) sunflower oil, pouring in a steady stream, and puree until the mixture is very thick and all of the oil has been incorporated. Add the juice of 1 lemon, and puree. Transfer to a bowl, and stir in 1tbsp each chopped gherkins, capers, and parsley, and 2tbsp chopped fresh tarragon. Cover and leave to stand for at least 1 hour to allow the flavours to blend.
1- Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water for 15-20 minutes until tender.
2- Meanwhile, put the fish into a pan with the milk, bay leaf, and peppercorns. Bring slowly to a boil, and simmer for 10 minutes or until the fish is just opaque.
3- Drain the fish, reserving the liquid. Cool the fish, then flake the flesh, discarding the skin and bones.
4- Drain the potatoes, put them in a bowl, and mash with butter and 3 tbsp of the cooking liquid. Add the fish, parsely, lemon zest, Tabasco if using, and salt and pepper to taste, and mix well.
5- Shape the mixture into 8 flat cakes, 7cm (3in) in diameter. Coat with beaten egg, then with breadcrumbs.
6- Heat a little oil in a frying pan and fry the fish cakes, a few at a time, for 5 minutes on each side or until golden. Serve hot, with the tartare sauce.