Thursday, March 31, 2011

Fresh Cod and Potato Cakes



From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...It's unusual to find a fish with historical significance, but the humble cod was once considered a natural resource of such importance importance that nations went to war over it. As a matter of fact, the last of the Cod Wars, a skirmish between Britain and Iceland, ended in 1976. Confrontation such as this have occurred for at least a thousand years. Once early seafarers learned that salted, dried cod was a long lasting source of good protein, it became a commodity of historical and economic importance. The market for cod began with the Vikings and spread from Norway to Southern Europe, where it survived even during the years of the Black Death. We know with some certainty that cod is what brought early explorers to the shores of North America. The east coast of our country was developed, at least in part, because of the vast cod stocks off its coast. More information about cod can be found here. Unfortunately, overfishing of Atlantic cod has placed it on the endangered species list. While it is still available, many prefer to use other types of fish. Pacific cod or pollack are acceptable alternatives.

Fish cakes are no longer an important part of the American diet, but those of a certain age are quite familiar with how they were made and eaten. While leftover fish could be used, salt cod was usually the fish of choice. It was a matter of practicality. Fresh fish was not widely available in the mid-reaches of the country, so dried or canned versions were usually used. While pedestrian, they were fine and a wonderfully inexpensive way to feed a family. As tastes and fortunes changed fish cakes, except for the crab variety, fell by the wayside. That was unfortunate because a well-made fish cake has within its fabric the barest whiff of the sea and is one of those peasant dishes that have gourmet appeal. I wanted to share with you the best of my recipes for cod cakes. They are prepared with fresh cod and served with a tarragon mayonnaise that will have your socks, as well as mine. going up and down. These are not hard to do but they take some time to make. They should be served right from the pan and eaten while hot. They do not keep well, so make no more than you will actually consume in one setting. I do hope you'll try these. They are delicious. Here's the recipe.

An addendum from a reader that I thought you would find interesting...."I come from the east coast of Canada where, as a child, the main industry was the cod fishery. Incidentally, centuries ago, settlement was illegal in Newfoundland as the countries with a stake in the cod fishery (England, Spain, Portugal, France)were not prepared to have settlers gain 'custody' of the stocks. As the fall fishery (season) ended, the fishers and their families either had to return to their home country or hide in the coves and bays. Cod was actually a legal form of currency. Also an interesting tidbit of information; the Mayflower stopped into a fishing 'room' or settlement on the south coast for supplies on their way to the New World."

Fresh Cod and Potato Cakes ...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Yankee Magazine

Ingredients:
Fish Cakes
1 pound fresh cod
Juice of 1 lemon
Splash of white wine
2 cups mashed potatoes at room temperature
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 cup diced sweet onion
1 egg plus 1 yolk
1 small red pepper, finely diced
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 teaspoons salt
1 to 2 teaspoons pepper
2 teaspoons dried mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons clarified butter
Tarragon Mayonnaise
3 egg yolks
1/4 cup chopped fresh tarragon
6 sprigs of fresh watercress
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 to 1-1/2 cups light olive oil

Directions:
Fish Cakes
1) Steam cod over water to which lemon juice and white wine have been added, about 7 minutes or until it flakes.
2) Saute garlic and onion until translucent. Fold together potatoes, garlic, onion, eggs, red pepper, parsley, seasonings, and Worcestershire sauce. Gently flake and mix the cod into potato mixture. Form into 16 2-ounce cakes. (If mixture is too wet, you can add fresh bread crumbs until cakes hold together.)
3) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat clarified butter in a saute pan. Add cakes and fry until golden brown. Flip over, and put the saute pan into preheated oven for 5 minutes to finish. Remove from oven and serve cakes hot, topped with Fresh Tarragon Mayonnaise. Yield 16 (2-oz.) cakes.
Fresh Tarragon Mayonnaise
4) Place egg yolks and next six ingredients in a blender; blend well. On fairly high speed, slowly drizzle oil into egg mixture, until it forms an emulsified mayonnaise.

You might also like these recipes:
Haddock and Leek Fish Cakes - Really Hungry
Fish Cakes - Felice in the Kitchen
Cod Fish Cakes - Ciao Chow Linda
Salmon Fish Cakes - Christine's Recipes
Thai-Style Fish Cakes - Adora's Box
Simple Shrimp Fish Cakes - The Runaway Spoon
Salmon Patties - Las Vegas Food Adventure
Thai Fish Cakes with Cucumber Relish - One Perfect Bite
Cod Fish Cakes with Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Roasted Fennel - Chow and Chatter
Tod Mun Pla (Thai Fish Cakes) - Closet Cooking
Salmon Burger Recipes - Steamy Kitchen

73 comments:

Elin said...

Mary..this cod cake looks good and that homemade tarrangon mayo must be nice for the cod cake :) Thanks for sharing the recipe, I love every recipes of yours too. Have a nice day .
hugs,
Elin

Ginny said...

The Cod Wars? This almost sounds like a joke!! But these look so very good!!! I have never had any cod, except what is in frozen fish sticks and cakes.

Pondside said...

I hardly ever make fish cakes - in fact can't remember the last time. When I was growing up we ate them (and loved them!) regularly. I'll be my Great Dane would love it if a plate of these showed up as his dinner.

penny aka jeroxie said...

I very seldom have cod here and they are mostly salted. I do love fish cakes though and usually make them with salmon.

Chiara said...

Thanks for sharing Mary, sounds good ! have a lovely day, a hug....

Mamatkamal said...

Thanks for the info, without your post, I would never have known about the Cod War that lasted for thousand years...!
I love the look of these fish cakes, they look perfect: golden and crispy. My mother used to make them but with Sardines. Thanks for sharing Mary and have a nice day!
Mamatkamal

♥LOVE2COOK♥ said...

WOW...scrumptious patties dear! Loved them ;)

Lucie said...

What interesting information! Thank you for sharing this, Mary. I love fresh, warm fish cakes and I'm sure I know many who would appreciate this recipe as well.

yummychunklet said...

These golden fish cakes look perfect for this Friday's Lent dinner! Thanks for the recipe!

Ana Rita said...

I love cod in diferent ways, i think it is the king os fishes.lol
i loved the cakes, they are a very nice way to eat fish and potato at the same time. along with a fresh salad!!!

Kisses,
Rita

Sushma Mallya said...

Cod cakes looks delicious ...Perfect photography!

Duncan D. Horne said...

This brings back nice memories of my childhood when my mum prepared fish cakes for us. They look great!

Jan said...

Those fish cakes look DELISH!

Debbie said...

I have not made fish cakes in ages and this recipe reminds me that I should. Just looks so delicious!

Inside a British Mum's Kitchen said...

Hi Mary,
Thank you for visiting my site and I'm SO glad to have found yours. It's simply beautiful, those fish cakes look wonderful, delicious ingredients. Have a lovely day and all the best,
Mary

Wobegon Cottage said...

I have been wanting a recipe like this I try to have fish once a week but being in the midwest I am limitied to what is available. This will be great. I love making crabcakes and salmon patties so this will be a nice change.
Thank you
Alice

Suman Singh said...

These looks delicious! I love the spices and combination of flavors..such a interesting and delightful recipe..Thanks for sharing!

EliFla said...

As you know I was waiting for this fresh cod and potato cakes...and now I know...I Like it!!!! TY ...belssings, Flavia

Kim said...

I really like this kind of meal. And cod, is one of my favorite fish... Yummy!

From the Kitchen said...

Cod has not been high on my list. As a child, I only recall salt cod which I thought I didn't like. In the past year, I've given fresh cod a chance (is there a song title here?). Fish cakes used to be ho-hum and a quickie meal. I've changed my mind in that area as well. Making a short story too long here, I'm happy to have this recipe.

Yes, I suffered a bit of illness while on vacation but I soldiered on. Check back often for all the details coming soon.

Best,
Bonnie

Priya said...

Mouthwatering here, wat a tempting fish cakes..

Cooking Creation said...

Oh, I'm so intrigued by this recipe! I've made fish cakes and I've made potato cakes but I've never had them together. I can't wait to present this one to my husband - I have a feeling he'll be just as excited as I am! Thank you for sharing, Mary.

StephenC said...

Loved the history lesson, and I am a long-time fan of fish cakes of various kinds.

Clint said...

Looks really good. I'm not sure I have ever experienced the pleasure of cod & potato cakes, but it sounds great. I like cod and I like spuds, so it makes sense! Thank you!

Jenn said...

I did not realize the history that went with cod..thanks for sharing!
I love these cakes..they look wonderful! And the tarragon mayo just seals the deal!!

Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) said...

What a delicious meal for dinner! I am always looking for new ways to incorporate fish into our diets.

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Oh, Mary, being of a certain age, I am glad to find a version that will put our socks up and down! The taragon mayonnaise is probably my favorite part! I'm finally having time to check in this week and have missed my Daily Dose of Mary!

bellini valli said...

Being of British decent it just seems that fish and chips and fish cakes are in my blood. This is an excellent recipe Mary!

Ollamha Anne said...

Yum, fish cakes. You can make them from any fish just about, even canned tuna (I confess these are not my favourite)or seafood (lobster, crab, whatever). When I lived with my grandmother, fish cakes got put in my lunch sometimes to eat cold. Didn't happen too often because they rarely got left over.

Rita said...

Haven't made cod cakes in ages; it was one of my kid's favourite meals; thank you for the reminder; great photo Mary; happy weekend.
Rita

lostpastremembered said...

Gorgeous cake Mary. I have found if you soak salt cod enough you can use it like fresh... especially for recipes like yours. It's nice to keep it around to be able to make things like these delicious cakes whenever you chose. Cod is such a lovely fish... no wonder wars have been fought!

Jersey Girl Cooks said...

I haven't had fish cakes in a long time. I would love to try this recipe soon. The mayo sounds great with it.

Premalatha Aravindhan said...

Such a delicious cake...luks fabulous...

Elaine said...

I've had crab cakes and salmon cakes (love those!), but never cod cakes. They sound so good.

kitchen flavours said...

I love fish cakes! Never had them with cod before. Will try this when the price of cod is more affordable!
Have a nice day!

Big Dude said...

I love all fish made into a ncake and this will sure work for me.

Katerina said...

This is a great way especially for little ones to eat fish!

June said...

Mary - they look delicious for sure, but that mayonnaise! Well, I just lost my socks entirely over that one. Ha.

Gloria said...

Love potatoes cake Mary and look delicious! Im really hungry! gloria

Emily said...

I come from the east coast of Canada where, as a child, the main industry was the cod fishery. These are fancier fish cakes than I grew up on, and looks delicious. Sadly, I now rely on frozen cod - we always ate it fresh from the ocean in years gone by and there is absolutely no comparison in the taste! The tarragon mayonnaise looks absolutely wonderful and will definitely get a try. Incidentally, centuries ago, settlement was illegal in Newfoundland as the countries with a stake in the cod fishery (England, Spain, Portugal, France)were not prepared to have settlers gain 'custody' of the stocks. As the fall fishery ended, the fishers and their families either had to return to their home country or hide in the coves and bays. Cod was actually a legal form of currency. Also an interesting tidbit of information; the Mayflower stopped into a fishing 'room' or settlement on the south coast for supplies on their way to the New World.

JG said...

This brings back memories of my MIL telling me years ago that she made these. If she did not have the Cod, she used only potatoes and everyone believed they were Cod/Potato Cakes. :) Your cakes look so good.
~Judy

Lynda said...

These look fantastic to me; although I haven't had cod cakes before, I'm sure I'd like them. I guess I'm at that "certain age"! I've made salmon cakes for years, just as my mother and grandmother did, using canned salmon. I really must try using fresh fish to make fish cakes.
Thanks for sharing this,Mary.

Geheris said...

Dear Mary, Our cooking thoughts are reaching each other. . I just made crab
cake balls...Your cod cakes look delish! Just wonderful! Blessings, Catherine

The Blonde Duck said...

Give me this and the PB bread and I'll be happy!

Joanne said...

Cod is on sale this week at Whole Foods and I feel compelled to buy it but had no idea what to use it in. These cod and potato cakes have come at the perfect time!

tigerfish said...

The idea of using fresh cod make these savory cakes sound so fresh and delicious!

Pegasuslegend said...

What a great idea here, you know I make these the same exact way but have always always used tuna, why oh why I have never thought of this is baffling... I am sooooooo glad you visited me and led me here. thank you cant wait to try these with that wonderful white flakey cod lovely lovely idea and yours look scrumptious!

Sweet And Crumby said...

These look crunchy and satisfying. Thanks for sharing!

That Girl said...

I always think of cod as giant prehistoric fish!

Pam said...

I bet they are so delicious... especially when dipped in the tarragon mayonnaise. Yum!

Tammy said...

Oooh, how scrumptious! Looks really yummy, Mary!! :)

xx,
Tammy

Louanne said...

We cod fish & potato cakes during Lent nearly every week when I was a child. I loved them, but have yet to make them as an adult. Thanks for the wonderful reminder, Mary.

the constant hunger said...

Great information on cod. Lovely photo. I'm such a fish lover...can't wait to try this one out.

Parsley Sage said...

Awesome recipe :) I doubt I can find any cod here but I'll bet I can tear this recipe up with some grouper!

nanny said...

I loved reading the history of cod. Very interesting. This recipe sounds so good. I made salmon cakes this week. I love fish, cooked so many different ways.

Vittle me this... said...

very nice recipe!

Only Fish Recipes said...

fish cake is one of my favorites ! loved your recipe so much !

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

Those look AMAZING, and I can't wait to try the recipe. Thanks so much for sharing it.

Anna A. said...

mmmmm I love seafood cakes. This is a great recipe. I will have to make it soon. Also, love how you used tarragon in the sauce.

highplainsdrifters said...

Just a thought ... if you're going to juice a lemon and add it to the water, it might be just as easy to do this: slice the lemon into thin slices, add the to the water, bring to a boil, and allow to simmer for ten minutes before steaming the fish. Takes more time, but slightly less hands-on. Cheers!

Country Reflections said...

Your fish cakes look so delicious! Thanks for visiting and I am going to check out your other recipes! Take care~

teresa said...

oh my goodness, delicious! i've never had anything like it, but it's making my mouth water!

Angela said...

I so enoyed reading your note on cod. I have had the book Cod by Mark Kurlansky on my reading list for some time. My dad talks about my grandma frequently serving fish cakes for dinner.

Wendy Irene said...

The idea of eating a fish cake is SO much more appealing to me than simply a piece of fish. With that Tarragon Mayonnaise it looks like it would be a real winner in my house!

sweetpeaskitchen.com said...

These cod and potato cakes look great! :)

mia xara said...

I love the history notes and I do love the yummy recipe..I've never tried it with mashed potatoes..Have a great day! XO

RamblingTart said...

I love all the history you shared, Mary. :-) Especially the bit about my native Canada. I never knew that! I'm a big fan of fish cakes. Pure comfort food in my book. :-)

Miriam said...

You always have the most delicious recipes! Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

scrambledhenfruit said...

My family loves fish cakes, but I've only ever made them with salmon. I'll have to try this for a change. Very interesting about the cod! :)

~~louise~~ said...

I've had cod on the brain ever since I did that New England post and now you went and put me over the top. I haven't even had my coffee yet this morning and yet I find myself craving this beauty of a dish.

Why oh why do always make me so hungry???

Thanks, Mary:) Happy April!!!

Susi's Kochen und Backen said...

Great post Mary! I thought it was interesting history lesson :o)
Your fish cakes look delicious. I would certainly be interested in trying out this recipe especially with that incredible sounding mayo. Thanks for sharing :o)

Jenn @ Youknow...that Blog? said...

Oh this looks so yummy! My teen doesn't like fish at all, but I'd be willing to bet she'd eat this. I'll let you know how it goes when I make it (probably next week).

Thanks so much for this!!

Eliana said...

Hmmm - they look so perfectly golden and delicious Mary.

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