Fish cakes were one of my Dad, Ja's, "favorite foods". My brother Jason often indulged Dad by making them for him. I am quite fond of them too, but had not had them in a very long time. It was a special treat when Jason made them for us for breakfast this fall. The following recipe is basically the one Jason uses. I have added a few steps based on my experience making crab cakes.
1 pound boneless salt cod
in water for 1 - 3 days changing water at least 3 times a day. The saltier the cod the longer it will need to go though the soak - rinse cycle. Drain cod and place in a pot and cover with 2 inches of water. Bring water to a simmer and let cod sit until it flakes, Do not boil or cod will become tough. Drain, flake and mix with:
2 cups (1 pound) cooked and mashed Russet potatoes
1/2 cup onion, grated
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Form into 10 - 12 cakes (about 3 inches in diameter) dip both sides in
and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (or overnight) or place in freezer for 10 minutes.
Olive oil or a mixture of olive oil and butter.
Place a few cakes at a time in the hot oil mixture and fry until lightly browned all over, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Placing too may cakes in the pan at one time will release too much moisture and compromise the form of the cakes (see photo at left - fewer cakes would have been better).
Pat with paper towels to remove excess oil and serve with lemon wedges and cocktail sauce and/or a mayo-mustard sauce.
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