I'm not sure if I have a favourite food, but I would have to put fish cakes in the top ten. Easy! These Cod and Leek Cakes are a new take on my traditional Cod Cakes. Served here with a home made tartar sauce to spice things up a bit. A great mid week dinner for the family!
So while we're on the topic of favourite food, I have to say that chocolate most definitely makes the top 10 for me as well. I am a confessed chocoholic. And the trashier the better. I am not into uber high quality 100% cocoa chocolate that has been sustainably resourced from the depths of the earth. I mean, that's all good, it's just not me. In fact, I didn't even know that was a thing until recently. The 100% cocoa chocolate not the sustainably resourced part. I don't live that much a sheltered life. Many would argue that..ha!
We had visitors over Easter and my brother-in-law brought out his extremely high quality 100% cocoa chocolate. He went on to explain to me that you only need a half of a square and you kind of have to wean yourself onto it! What? I have to wean myself onto chocolate? I have enough problems trying to wean myself off, so I know I have hit rock bottom if I have to start weaning on. Besides, for me, the whole point of chocolate is indulging in more than 1/2 a square. Anyway, good for him. More will power than this girl. We all have our weaknesses, mine just happens to come in the trashy chocolate form.
And I'm pretty sure it doesn't get a whole lot trashier than Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. I mean that statement in a real good way. They are my complete weakness. And I don't even really eat peanut butter, but there is something about those cups. And lucky for me with my geographical location, you can't buy them here. So, I'm safe.
Well, I was until just last week when I quickly went down the road to out local mini market. My favourite in-a-pinch-shop. I got just about all I needed and was about to head out the door, when I saw that unmistakable orange wrapper of love. What? After 21 years of none, could it be possible they sell them here. Wait, maybe it was a mirage. Nope. It was the real deal. So, of course, I bought one. Just one, that will do me just fine. Until I had to go back for the second one. I'm over it now though. You know how they say things like absence makes the heart grow fonder? Or the craving more addictive in this case? Well, I had two and I'm good. Until the next time that is. Watch this space.
Let's move on from my addiction and to what we have in front of us here.
First of all, this Tartar Sauce recipe came from Epicurious. You can click here to see the original recipe on that site if you like. Epicurious has been my saving grace in the kitchen now for about 15 years. The best food site! And while were are on the topic of favourite sites, I also love the BBC Good Food and use that as a resource quite often. These two sites along with my Readers Digest Bible, as I like to call it, have been my main resources for cooking tips over the years.
Honestly, I didn't even think I liked tartar sauce. The only kind I can ever remember was the kind you buy in the supermarket. I was never a fan, so just moved on. Then the other week when I was making these fish cakes, I was perusing Epicurious in shapes of a sauce inspiration. The first hit was was this Tartar Sauce. I made it and thought it was great. So a big shout out to Epicurious from saving me having to come up with something myself.
Now a bit about the fish.
Does anyone remember me talking about multi tasking from time to time. Well, I know I go on and on about this, but it's quite often the key component to getting the dish to come together in the end as well as save an enormous amount of time.
This is another one of those recipes where it's a really good idea to get all three elements cooking at the same time. Otherwise, it really will take forever. And if you know me, you know I'm generally all about quick food. However, if you have the time and don't like to be rushed just allow extra cooking time than what you see stated below.
First, I always get the potatoes on because they take the longest. Then I started on the leeks. As soon as they were in the pan, I put the fish on to boil. Fish cooks quite quickly, so it is done before everything else. If you do it this way, you won't have to wait around for things to cook too long.
Just a little word about the fish. Cod fish usually comes with the skin on. Well, I am sure you can buy it in the freezer with no skin as well. For the most part though, I see it with the skin on. Don't try removing it before you cook the fish because it's more difficult and unnecessary. Once the fish is cooked, the skin peels straight off, easy. Also, make sure you look out for extra bones, because there will always be some.
Putting these fish cakes together is as easy as you see in the recipe below. If you find the mixture sticking to your hands, just lightly flour your hands and problem solved.
When cooking them, be careful not to have the heat too high or you will likely burn them and they will probably be a greasy mess. I always start the heat medium-high and adjust as I see fit through cooking.
They really are best served as soon as they are cooked. If you are going to be reheating them, I recommend the oven not the microwave. But if you not fussy, the microwave will do.
Ok, I think that's about it for today. Happy cooking friends!
Cod & Leek Cakes with Tartar Sauce
Makes 10 fish cakes / Prep time: 20 minutes / Cook time: 20 minutes
For the fish cakes:
2 fair sized cod fillets, about 1lb
3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into small pieces
4 tablespoons of milk
1 Leek, thinly sliced crossways
Small handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup of flour, for coating
4- 5 tablespoons olive oil, for frying
For the tartar sauce:
1 cup mayonnaise/240 ml
2 dill pickles, finely chopped
3 tablespoons chopped green onion
1 tablespoon drained capers
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
First make the tartar sauce. Whisk together all the ingredients and set aside.
In a medium saucepan of boiling water, add the potatoes and cook until soft. This will take about 15 minutes. When cooked, remove from heat, drain and set aside
Meanwhile, in another medium saucepan of boiling water, add the cod fish and boil for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and drain the water. Leave to cool so you can handle it.
In a medium skillet, add one tablespoon of olive oil and the leeks. Cook the leeks over a medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until they are soft and lightly golden. Remove from heat.
Once the fish is cool enough to handle, remove the skin and you will notice that the fish will just flake apart. Remove any bones that you find in the fish and discard them.
In a large mixing bowl, add the potatoes and the two tablespoons of milk and mash really well. Now add the fish, leeks, parsley, oregano and salt & pepper. With a wooden spoon, stir to combine. When it is all combined you can start making your fish cakes.
Form small balls out of the mixture, 10 give or take. On a lightly floured surface, flatten out the fish cakes into disks. Repeat for all fish cakes then coat completely in flour.
In a large skillet set over moderate heat, add two tablespoons of the olive oil and bring to a high heat. When you put the fish cakes in the pan you want them to instantly sizzle. Cook for about 6 minutes or until it is golden brown and flip over. Continue cooking the other side for the same amount of time, or until golden brown. Repeat for whatever fish cakes you have left. Use the remaining olive oil to cook the rest of the fish cakes.
Best served immediately. Can be reheated in the oven for best results.
Click the downloadable link below to print recipe!
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