Here in coastal New England, we pride ourselves on fierce regional loyalty: to baked beans, clam chowder and stuffies, Del's frozen lemonade, and the Red Sox, our perennially heartbreaking baseball team. We also love our cod, the local white fish spawned in the cold water of the North Atlantic.
Fishing boats bring cod to market all year long, which makes cod cakes a popular appetizer on restaurant menus. You can make them at home for a fraction of the price; serve minis for a dinner party appetizer, or larger ones for a light lunch or dinner entree. If cod is expensive or hard to find in your area, substitute salmon or crab meat. To make this really quick and easy, whip up a batch of the remoulade a day or two in advance.
Cod cakes with red pepper, tarragon and yogurt remoulade
Inspired by a recipe for salmon cakes in Yankee Magazine's Best of New England Recipes, this recipe makes 18-20 appetizer-size mini cod cakes, or 9-10 larger ones.
For the cod cakes:
1 Tbsp canola oil
2 Tbsp diced onion
2 Tbsp diced celery
1 small clove garlic, minced
2 cups dry plain bread crumbs, divided
1 tsp minced fresh parsley
1 tsp minced fresh tarragon
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp kosher salt
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
Dash of hot sauce (I use Tabasco)
1-1/2 lb cod, skin removed, roughly chopped
1/4 cup finely diced red bell pepper
Canola oil for frying
For the remoulade:
2 tsp chopped fresh tarragon
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp capers, chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3/8 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
1/2 large roasted red bell pepper (from a jar okay), minced
Preheat a small nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Add 1 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 cup of bread crumbs, herbs, mustard, salt, Worcestershire, Tabasco, cod, and bell pepper; pulse 5-6 times to chop the fish and incorporate the ingredients.
Form the mixture into 18-20 small patties, or 9-10 larger ones.
Place the remaining 1 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 to incorporate the ingredients, and refrigerate until ready to use.
In a large sauté pan, 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.
More fantastic fish:
Cod with raisins, nuts and apples, from The Perfect Pantry
Panko and mustard crusted fish, from The Perfect Pantry
Steamed Dungeness crabs with Old Bay, from House of Annie
Salmon with tomato, onions and capers, from Simply Recipes
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