Prep Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 55 minutes
- 1 lb picked over, pre-cooked shad meat
- 3 T. flour
- 1 T. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 beaten egg
- 1 t. cayenne powder
- 1 T. finely chopped fresh dill
- 1 T. finely chopped spring onions or chives
- 1 T. finely chopped sorrel or lemon basil or regular basil
- 1 t. salt
- Oil for frying
- Breadcrumbs for dusting
- 2-3 small zucchini, sliced thinly into discs
- 1 T. Sherry or red wine vinegar
Buzz the shad in a food processor for 20 seconds, or until it is a rough paste. Add the egg, Worcestershire sauce, salt, herbs, flour and cayenne and buzz it until well combined, about another 20 seconds. Do not overwork the mixture or it will be too pasty.
With wet hands, grab about a palm's worth of the fish mixture and shape into a patty. The size of the fish cakes doesn't matter, but the thickness does. Think hamburger, not meatball.
Once you've shaped the patty, coat it in breadcrumbs. I prefer either homemade or Japanese panko-style breadcrumbs.
Place each shad cake on a piece of wax paper set on a cookie sheet. When you are finished, put the cookie sheet in the fridge for an hour so everything can firm up.
Meanwhile, run the zucchini through a mandoline set at 1/8 inch. If you do not have a mandoline, just slice the zucchini thinly.
Set a large frying pan over medium-high heat and let it get hot for a minute or two. Add a tablespoon or so of olive oil and fry the zucchini slices. They should be hot and searing, not just simmering in the oil. You are looking for sear marks. Give each side of the zucchini a minute or two, salting them lightly as you turn them.
When the zucchini are cooked, toss them into a bowl with the sherry vinegar and toss to combine. You want everything to be coated in the oil and vinegar.
Take the fish cakes out of the fridge and cook them over medium heat in the same pan. You might need to add a bit more oil. It is important that you cook the shad cakes evenly and slowly. They should be sizzling away moderately -- not like the zucchini. After 3-4 minutes, turn over and give the other side the same amount of time.
To serve, arrange the zucchini slices on a plate and top with the shad cake. This is a ritzy appetizer you can impress with, so serve with something sparkly like champagne or and Italian prosecco.