Grabbing the Gusto

Deirdre Reid – Freelance Writer & Home Cook

Friday is a good day for cod, especially for those of you observing Lent and eating only fish on Fridays. Me, I prefer pizza or pasta on Fridays, but usually eat leftovers instead.

Yes, this is the second cod recipe this week. I’m definitely true to my Massachusetts heritage with my loyalty to cod, the Sacred Cod of Massachusetts: fish and chips, baked cod, stuffed cod, scrod, Cape Cod, Cape Codders, I love them all.

If you’re tired of eating fish in fillet form, give fish cakes a try. You might even inspire the fish-averse crowd to indulge. I found this recipe on The Perfect Pantry blog. Lydia’s a Rhode Islander so she gets the whole cod thing, and her blog always has interesting (and I mean that in the good way) recipes. She adapted this one from a salmon cake recipe she found in Yankee magazine, so I gave the Yankee moniker to her recipe.

I made these cod cakes for a main course with roasted parmesan broccoli and brown and wild rice on the side. I love the idea of using Greek yogurt for the remoulade. If you’re pressed for time, you could just use tartar sauce or mix together some mayonnaise and relish, but the remoulade is so much better. You can see how the remoulade looks on The Perfect Pantry blog, I was too distracted by dinner to take a photo.

cod fish cakes

Yankee Cod Cakes with Red Bell Pepper and Tarragon Remoulade

You’ll need a large skillet, food processor, shallow bowl for dredging, wire rack, small bowl and a paper towel-lined plate.

For the cod cakes:

  • 1/2 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon diced onion
  • 1 tablespoon diced celery
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cups dry plain bread crumbs, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh tarragon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • Dash of hot sauce
  • 3/4 pound cod, skin removed, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cup finely diced red bell pepper
  • Canola oil for frying

 For the remoulade:

  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon capers, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1/4 large roasted red bell pepper (fresh or from a jar), minced

Preheat a skillet over medium heat. Add 1/2 teaspoon of oil, the chopped onion, celery and garlic, and sauté for 2-3 minutes, until the onions are translucent. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

To the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, add the cooled onion mixture, 1/2 cup of bread crumbs, parsley, tarragon, mustard, salt, Worcestershire, hot sauce, cod, and bell pepper; pulse 5-6 times to chop the fish and incorporate the ingredients. Form the mixture into 5 large patties.

Place the remaining 1/2 cup of bread crumbs in a bowl, and gently turn each cod cake in the crumbs to coat. Set the patties on a wire rack and let dry 15-20 minutes.

While the cod cakes are drying, combine all of the remoulade ingredients in a bowl. Stir together and refrigerate until ready to use.

In a skillet, heat 1/4 inch of canola oil over medium-high heat. Carefully add cod cakes, not too close together and in batches if necessary, and fry until browned and crisp, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel. Serve warm, with remoulade sauce.

Original recipe: Cod Cakes with Red Pepper, Tarragon and Yogurt Remoulade, The Perfect Pantry

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