Classic codfish cakes

Whether a meal or appetizer, this seafood staple is light and delicious.

This codfish recipe stands the test of time. —Tina Miller

This recipe is from my cookbook, “Vineyard Harvest,” (Random House 2005), and is certainly one of the most popular in the book. These simple, light cod cakes can be made into small appetizers. Here I make them bigger for a nice fall dinner and serve them with a hearty salad, lemon wedge, and maybe a homemade tartar sauce. The cakes can be made up ahead of time and reheated in the oven, perfect if you are making a smaller appetizer size for a party.

Codfish Cakes

2 lbs. fresh cod filets
1 cup Italian parsley leaves
1 onion, peeled and rough cut
3 ribs of celery, rough cut
¾ cup mayonnaise
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Hot sauce, a few drops
1 cup bread crumbs (gluten-free works great as well)
High-heat oil such as sunflower, safflower, or canola

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place cod filets on a baking pan with parchment paper. Bake for 20 minutes, let cool.

Using a food processor, chop parsley leaves. Add onion and celery, and mince combining together. Remove and let sit in a fine strainer to drain. Squeeze to remove excess liquid.

Remove cooled codfish from the baking pan without liquid.

Add to a mixing bowl, add parsley, celery, and onion mixture. Add the rest of the ingredients, folding the breadcrumbs last, combining well by hand.  

Shape the mixture into about 4-inch by 1/2-inch round cakes. Set on a tray lined with parchment paper. Let chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Heat oil enough to cover the bottom on a heavy sauté pan such as carbon steel or cast iron on medium-high heat.

Sauté until golden and gently turn and repeat. Do not turn cakes more than once; they are delicate. Let them cook until a nice golden crust is uniform before gently turning.