We have always been fans of cooking magazines. If we aren't looking at a new cookbook, we are purchasing Food and Wine, Bon Appetit, Fine Cooking, Gourmet and one of our new favorites Saveur. Jeff came across a recipe for Fish Cakes in Saveur magazine and thought this could be a great appetizer for our next gathering.
Having recently received a tip on a fresh seafood market in New Bedford, Jeff headed to Kyler Seafood and returned with tuna, swordfish and cod. It was the freshest seafood we had purchased in a while. Over the next few hours we proceeded to cook and enjoy our seafood creations. After everything was cooked and eaten, the results were in...the Fish Cakes were incredible. They were light and fluffy. The softness of the potatoes and chunkiness of the cod, pulled together with fresh dill allowed all the flavors to come through. Eating the Fish Cakes on one of the coldest night's this year made me long for summer and a chair by the pool!
It's definitely a New England classic and we look forward to adding this to our growing list of great appetizers.
6 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 ribs celery, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 russet potatoes (about 1 lb.), peeled and cut into 1⁄4" cubes
Kosher salt, to taste
1 lb. boneless skinless cod filets
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1⁄2 cup dried bread crumbs
1⁄4 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh dill
2 tbsp. finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 egg yolk, beaten
1 tbsp. lemon juice
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
1. Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a 12" skillet over medium heat. Add celery, onions, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 8 minutes. Transfer celery–onion mixture to a large bowl and set aside.
2. Put potatoes into a 4-qt. saucepan and cover with salted water by 1". Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Drain; transfer half the potatoes to a plate. Set aside to let cool. Transfer remaining potatoes to a bowl and mash with a fork. Transfer mashed potatoes to reserved bowl of onion mixture; set aside to let cool.
3. Season cod with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a 12" nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add cod and cook, turning once with a metal spatula, until cooked through, 8–10 minutes. Transfer cod to a plate and let cool. Break cod into 1" chunks and set aside.
4. Add bread crumbs, mayonnaise, herbs, egg yolk, and lemon juice to the potato–onion mixture and stir vigorously to combine. Add the reserved cubed potatoes and the cod and mix gently to combine. Using your hands, divide the mixture into 8 equal portions and form into 3"-wide cakes (use a 3" ring mold if you have one). Transfer cakes to a wax paper–lined baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes, until firm.
Working in 2 batches, heat 1 tbsp. oil and 2 tbsp. butter in a 12" cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add cod cakes and cook, flipping once, until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Transfer cakes to a serving platter; serve with chowchow, if you like.
SERVES 4 (or 8 if an appetizer)