Family Table

Cod fish cakes

October 26, 2005

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Serves 4
Fish cakes have improved so much since they were first made, when dried salt cod would be soaked overnight. Bacon fat was always in the skillet, turning the cakes golden. Today, many seafood establishments feature fish cakes made with fresh cod (as well as scrod, haddock, hake, and pollock). These can be made with any of those plain white fish, along with a golden potato, scallion, parsley, and hot sauce. The patties have a crisp bacon topping.

1 medium golden potato
3/4 pound skinless boneless cod, cut into chunks
1 tablespoon butter, cut up
1/2 teaspoon salt, and more to taste
1/2 teaspoon pepper, and more to taste
3 scallions, finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/4 teaspoon liquid hot sauce
2 strips of bacon
1/2 cup panko or plain white bread crumbs
1. Wash and prick the potato with a fork. Cook it in the microwave for 7 to 9 minutes or until it is cooked through. Set aside to cool.

2. In a food processor, pulse the fish five times. Add the butter and pulse again three times until the fish is shredded.

3. Peel the potato. In a large bowl with a fork, mash the potato, with the 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper, leaving small chunks.

4. Add the fish to the potatoes with the scallions, 1 tablespoon of the parsley, and the hot sauce. Work with your hands to combine it. Form 4 cakes and place them on a plate. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.

5. Set the oven at 425 degrees.

6. In a small skillet, render the bacon until golden. Transfer it to paper towels. When cool, crumble the bacon.

7. Add the bread crumbs, bacon, remaining parsley, salt, and pepper to the fat in the pan. Mix well.

8. Set the cakes on a rimmed baking sheet. Place enough topping on each of the cakes to cover the top. Bake them for 20 minutes or until they are golden brown.

-- Christine Merlo