The expression "Cod is King" was more than just a saying; it was a mantra for a way of life. Cod was the mainstay of the industry until the collapse of the fisheries, due to over-fishing and mismanagement of the natural resource.
When I think that wars were fought over this former King of the sea, it’s hard to believe that it is usually the secondary fish choice on most menus. Although there are many species of cod, the one that is in trouble is Atlantic Cod. While not officially endangered, the cod fishing industry has created regulations trying to limit cod catch. Gone are the days when one fish weighed over 100 pounds. Despite the industry’s self-regulation, there are countries that continue to overfish this once prized fish of the Atlantic.
Stew Leonard’s had some beautiful pieces of line caught cod yesterday. While I typically buy cod for Oreganato, Fish and Chips or New England seafood chowder, I had a taste for cod cakes. I am a little finicky about fish cakes. I don’t like them deep fried or covered with bread crumbs. Some may find this recipe to be a bit labor intensive but the end product is well worth it!
Cod Cakes with a Tomato Remoulade
10 oz potatoes
2 cloves garlic, sliced
5 sprigs thyme
¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 pound cod filets
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup small dice onion
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1.Peel and large dice potatoes; steam until tender but not falling apart
2.While potatoes are steaming, poach cod in milk. In a medium sauté pan, add milk, slice garlic, thyme and ground pepper. Bring to a boil, then add cod.
3.Simmer for five minutes or until cod is flaky tender but not falling apart
4.Once cod is cooked, remove it from milk along with the sliced garlic. Chill. Discard liquid along with the thyme stems
5.In a small sauté pan melt butter, then add diced onions. Sweat onions until soft and translucent but not brown. Cool
6.When potatoes are ready, pass through a ricer or food mill. You should have 1 cup of mashed potatoes. Cool
7. Once all ingredients are cooked and cooled, place in a medium bowl.
8. Add cayenne, egg and salt. Gently toss ingredients until well combined.
9. With a 2” biscuit cutter, mold cod cakes by placing mixture in the cutter and pressing it to the shape to the cutter.
10. Once cakes have been formed, preheat a non-stick skillet with olive oil. When pan is hot, but not smoking, gently lay cakes in the pan sear for 5 minutes on each side.
11. Remove from skillet place on a baking sheet and bake in a 375-degree oven for 15 minutes or until cod cakes reach and internal temperature of 145F.
1 cup Mayonnaise (preferable Hellmann’s)
1/3 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons chopped cornichons
1 tablespoon chopped capers
2 tablespoons onions fine dice
1 teaspoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon lemon zest
2 teaspoon chopped tarragon
1 tablespoon tomato powder*
Dash Tabasco Sauce
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl
Serve as desired
* I don’t expect most people to have tomato powder so a good substitute would be sundried tomato puree. Rehydrate sundried tomatoes; puree in a blender with enough liquid to get puree consistency. Add ¼ cup of sundried tomato puree to remoulade