Friday, May 15, 2020

Foodie Friday - Cod Cake Heaven

Like many of you we have been on staycation for about 7 weeks and going crazy. I'm happy that I've been talking to my friends, clients and family members on Zoom, but Happy Hours via Zoom leave much to be desired.

Since I'm in the house so much, I've been doing a lot of cooking.  Being from a big family I spent most of my early life in the kitchen when I wasn't babysitting for my various nieces and nephews - I have about 20.  I fine myself thinking about those day and I've even been making some of my old recipes, like - my cod cakes. I haven't made these in years.

From about age 10 to 15, I was the only one home with my Dad during the summer.  My Mom was the director and head cook at a large Catholic high school and my sisters were all working, so it was me and Dad.  There wasn't anything like going out for lunch or going to Starbucks, so I would make lunch for us and get dinner started just before Mom would get home. One of the things my Dad really liked was my cod cakes. My Mom made good fish cakes but she used our leftover mashed potatoes when we had some - which was rare. My cod cakes were different because I used a drier potato. A few weeks ago I made a batch and they went over well. Al raved about them just like my Dad did, so I'm at it again. There's not a lot of ingredients and usually I have it all on hand as long as I have cod or haddock.

For the Cakes:
1. Potato - 10-12 ounces
2. 2 TBL butter - salted or unsalted
3. minced scallions or  onion if you don't have a scallion
4. minced garlic - to me a must
5. table salt and pepper
6. 1 tsp thyme or a little more if you like.
7. One pound of Cod - cut into pieces
8. Large egg
9. Panko or bread crumbs
10. Oil for frying.

 As I said, I like a dry potato for this.  As a kid I would just boil the potato and dice it up instead of mashing it.  This time I microwaved a russet potato and riced it.  I think that works a lot better. I never microwave potatoes, but in this case it's appropriate because the potato is really dry.  The starch from the potato will mute the fish flavor so don't over do it with the potato. Let the potato cool before you rice it.

Add the butter to the skillet and melt over medium heat.  Add the mined scallion, garlic, table salt, pepper and thyme and cook for a few minutes. Add the cod and cook for about 5 min on each side, flipping it halfway.

Combine the riced potato and cod mixture into a bowl.  Add large egg and stir to combine.  At this point you can use your hands to create the round cakes or you can use a small measuring cup sprayed with oil.  I use the 1/2 cup for the cakes if I want large one but I used the 1/3 cup for this batch.  It's best if you can do this in the morning so the cakes can sit in the fridge but if not you can wrap the plate and let it sit for at least an hour in the fridge or use the last option of placing the rounds in the freezer for about 20 minutes.

When ready spread out the panko or bread crumbs and coat each round before placing them into the hot oil in the skillet.  Cook around 4 or 5 min each side.

Serve with a salad on a heated plate.
Buon Appetito

If you don't have any tartar sauce you can make a substitute using about a cup of Mayo, some cornichons, a Tbl of capers minced and a shallot and scallion.  It takes at least 20 min for all this to blend so make it early and refrigerate it.

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