Tag Archives: dairy-free

Easy Codfish Cakes

From what I can gather, I am not the only one who misses Gorton’s canned codfish cakes. The mixture came solid in a can and one only had to slice and fry them in butter or margarine for a real treat. When they started getting scarce where I lived, (and now are non-existent), I developed the recipe based on the label ingredients, which I share with you today. I think it is close to what you may remember.

Codfish Cakes (Gorton-style)

1 lb of cod filets { frozen
1 ½ cups mashed potatoes
2 eggs
1 Tbsp. salt
2 Tbsp. milk {can be rice, almond or soy milk
2+ Tbsp flour {all-purpose, potato or rice flour
(opt. 1+Tbsp. parsley)
Butter or margarine

Poach the cod by placing the filets in a deep flat pan and covering them with water.(Can be still frozen). Add 2 tsp. of salt and 1 Tbsp. lemon juice. Simmer until the filets are no longer translucent,(nearly clear), but opaque in color, (solid white). [ I used to wrap them in cheesecloth to prevent them from breaking apart while boiling but found that they are fine cooking a little longer at a gentle simmer, just under boiling.] Drain the filets and flake them in a mixing bowl.

Add premade mashed potatoes, [See Dec. 2012 Archive, You Can Do It…Breakfast Potatoes and Leftovers if you need instructions.] and milk and salt. Stir in the eggs, mix well and add the salt then sprinkle in the flour. Depending on the wetness of your potatoes and the absorbency of your flour, more may be required, but please do not expect the consistency of our belated, beloved canned codfish cakes: This mixture will be somewhat loose.

Melt butter or margarine in a large , flat pan or griddle,(preferably non-stick).Keep the pan on a medium-high setting and  pick up the cod mixture, roll into a loose balls and flatten before dropping onto the pan or drop the mixture by a large spoonful and immediately flatten with a spatula.( You need to make these rather thin). Leave the cakes cooking for some time until the bottoms are deep golden-brown and flip them gently with a ‘pancake turner’ once, and allow them to brown equally on the other side.(In the ones pictured,I went heavy on the option of parsley!)


I hope that if you grew up loving codfish cakes as I did, these will satisfy you.

One of my son’s friends was a local fellow and one day we were discussing food,(which should be of no surprise). He complained that he had gone to a restaurant with his father somewhere in New England and he had tried to order biscuits and gravy, but the waitress had no idea what he was talking about. I told him that biscuits and gravy was a local favorite and that I had not learned to make sausage gravy until I had moved to Kentucky.
He still did not understand; after all, the restaurant had been one in a national chain and he had ordered the same breakfast at nearby locations many times.
I said, “But the menus vary; they feature local favorites. For instance, I was born in Maryland and if I walked into a restaurant here and ordered codfish cakes, they’d look at me like I am crazy”, to which my Tennessee-born then-daughter-in-law replied, “Kinda like I’m lookin’ at you right now?”

Maryland or any where else, I hope you are crazy about the recipe for codfish cakes that you found here.


Spicy Adriatic Fish

I had someone who wanted to read this recipe, so I made it and took a picture:

Spicy Adriatic Fish (1)

I wish it was a bit clearer.

I stumbled across a recipe very close to this one, played with it and it has been a big hit for me. Depending on the fish you use, it tastes barely fish-like to almost no discernible fish taste…just good.

I made this for my late grandmother–in-law about 25 years ago. Her people were from the Adriatic, from Croatia. She had been living in California near her daughter’s family. The son-in-law’s people had been a long line of Portuguese fishermen, and she asked me to give her the recipe. I was so pleased, as she was a fantastic cook. I don’t know if she ever made the fish dish, but my father-in-law recently send a box of the recipes she kept, and there was my recipe for this fish, right on top. I was quite touched.

Spicy Adriatic Fish

1 lb of whitefish filets, (whiting, perch or cod, preferably)
2 Tbsp oil, (basic olive, preferably)
½ cup of onion, minced
1 ½ Tbsp paprika
1 bay leaf
2 tsp. salt
2 cloves of garlic, minced, (or 2 tsp prepared garlic)
3 Tbsp. Tomato paste ( tomato sauce or fresh tomatoes do not add the ‘zing’ you are looking for here
1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp. vinegar ;Balsamic,( preferably), apple cider, white or rice vinegar,(do not use flavored or fruited ones)
OR lemon juice
1 ½ cups prepared rice, small pasta or couscous

Thaw and dry the fish, (see previous post). Place oil in a non-stick skillet; heat. Add the onions, paprika and salt; when the onions are translucent, add the garlic and the fish, upside down. Fry until the fish tops are browned, then turn gently and barely cook on the other side.(Time will depend on the thickness of your fish). Remove from the pan gently onto a plate. [*see note] Add the bay leaf, lemon juice or vinegar ,the tomato paste and water. Simmer for a few minutes until the liquid is slightly reduced in amount. Return the fish to the pan right-side-up and baste it with the sauce. Cook gently for 10-15 minutes. Remove the fish again, as well as the bay leaf. Add the prepared rice, pasta or couscous to the sauce and warm them together thoroughly. Serve alongside of fish or with fish on top.

[* NOTE: If at any time your fish breaks up, don’t worry! It will still taste fine; after all, you are going to cut it up anyway! My family has eaten it all mixed together on more than one occasion, trust me!]

I hope you try and enjoy!