Sunday, November 30, 2014

Recipe #34: Delectable Cod Cakes...You May Never Want to Go Back to Crab!

There's nothing better than a good crab cake, until you experience a shell.  Sort of like eating egg salad...it's great until you bite into an egg shell...then it's all over, at least for me.  With every bite afterwards, I feel like I'm navigating an egg shell land mine.  I had the pleasure of going crabbing with my neighbor last summer.  He had a boat in the marina not even a mile from where we lived, and we didn't have to boat miles, like you do with some fishing expeditions.  He had the cages and the boat, and I thought, gosh, this will be great!   Okay, so my license was $25.00 and the turkey wings I bought from the grocery store were $23.00.   I thought, $48.00, but, this will be good.  We were going out at 6 a.m., 12 noon, 5 p.m. and 7 the next morning.   I'm not used to getting up at 5 a.m. anymore, and it was a push, but I was excited for all the crabs we were going to catch...I was ready!   Regulations for Puget Sound are 5 males per day per person and they have to have a length of at least 6 1/2"; that tells you how old they are.  To make a long sad story short, in our four trips, we caught about 70 crabs, 50 of which were female, not good, and of the 20 left that were male, 8 were legal to take, and that was between the two of us, and to top it off, my neighbor lost a cage when it got tangled up in some ropes.  I took my 4 crabs, picked through them THREE times for shells and set out to make crab cakes.  They were excellent...until I got a shell, as did my friend in his.  How can that be, as I was swearing under my breath...well, it was.  So my solution is below, and I have made these time and again.  And, the beauty with cod is no shells, no bones.  They..are..great!  Once you make these, you may never go back to crab cakes again...

1 1/4 lbs cod                                                                    2 tbsp butter
salt, pepper, paprika                                                      l large egg, beaten
1/4 cup sliced scallions                                                  2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice                                                2 tbsp Dijon mustard
6-7 tbsp breadcrumbs                                                   2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
5 shakes hot sauce (optional)                                      1/4 tsp salt

Heat oven to 400.  On a baking sheet, I place a piece of aluminum foil, and fold all the edges up.  That way I don't have to clean the pan.  Place cod on foil.  Slice butter very thin and place in a few places on fish.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper and paprika.  Bake about 10-12 minutes.  Place on a plate lined with paper towels and cool.  In the meantime, add the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl and stir until blended.  Crumble the cod into the mixture...you don't need to break it very small.  Sort of like crab cakes, really, as large as you want the pieces to be.  Form into patties, and with this amount of fish, you should get 5-6, (see below).   Place on a plate, cover with plastic wrap and put in the frig for a few hours.  In a large skillet, heat about 2-3 tbsp canola oil on medium/high heat.  I use a pancake turner to place the cod cakes into the pan.  Cook until brown on one side, flip to the other side, and do the same.  Place on a plate lined with paper towels.  Serve with tartar sauce, cocktail sauce, or I eat them just as they are.  Bon appetit!






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