Tag Archives: gluten-free recipes

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!)

codfishcakes2

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.

Creamed Tuna/Tuna Salad

In keeping with our fish and seafood theme, consider the lowly can or packet of tuna. Humble, but convenient, easy to prepare and although the price has risen, it is a good buy. I stock up when it is on sale.

Open a packet or drain a can of tuna, toss a little mayonnaise in it and I am happy. I had been out of touch with a cousin for many years but when we reconnected, I found that she eats it with crackers, as comfort food. She remembered my mother giving it to her that way. I love it with cottage cheese and dry bread crumbs.(Don’t knock it if you haven’t tried it.)

If you add a little minced green or yellow onion, a dash of celery salt and a bit of minced celery, I am very happy; add a little minced dill pickle, put it on a nice Kaiser roll and I am more than happy…stuff it in a tomato and I am ecstatic. That makes a wonderful hot weather meal and a nice luncheon entrée or first course.
The salad alone or in a tomato can be made ahead of time and will last several days in your refrigerator.

Easy to make, delicious to eat, a great tuna sandwich is ready in minutes.

Easy to make, delicious to eat, a great tuna sandwich is ready in minutes.

Tuna Salad, my favorite way:*[see note]

1 packet or drained can of tuna
1-2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. minced onion
1Tbsp. minced celery
1 Tbsp. minced dill pickle
½ tsp celery salt

Serve on toasted bread,(rye is wonderful,), Italian or French bread, rolls or stuff into a tomato, top-off and seeded. Serve on a bed of lettuce with toast, crackers or plain rice cakes.
*note: Alternatives include using salad dressing “Miracle Whip” instead of mayo, if you prefer it a bit sweeter, and my husband opts for a bit of tartar sauce or sweet pickle relish. You can also add melted cheese of whatever type suits your fancy.

Another hit that I grew up with is Creamed Tuna. Easy to make, it is a warm and different take on tuna and can be served in a variety of ways.

Mom’s Creamed Tuna

2 Tbsp, butter or margarine
2 Tbsp. flour[use part corn starch or arrowroot if you are not using whole milk]
½ tsp salt
1 ¼ cups milk (can be soy or rice)
2 packets or well-drained cans of tuna
[opt: ½ tsp onion powder &/or ¼ tsp. white pepper]

Melt the butter or margarine in a heavy saucepan. Mix the flour in to make a smooth paste. (This is a ‘roux’; do not brown it.)
Add the milk slowly, (a wire whisk may come in handy), and cook over medium heat until quite thick, stirring constantly. If you are called away, return as soon as possible and stir briskly with a wire whisk. As long as the bottom has not scorched, it will be OK.
When thickened, add the tuna and stir over low heat until it is blended and warmed thoroughly.
Serve over cubed toast, (traditional), rice or small pasta and side vegetables. Green beans are a good choice with it; the flavors truly compliment each other.

In a container by itself, it can stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days, be warmed on the stovetop or in a microwave and then spooned over fresh toast or warm rice /pasta.
(Do not let it boil or scorch).

It can be also made in a bigger batch, in a bit thinner consistency and layered on rice,(preferably), or pasta with green beans in a casserole dish. It, too, can stay pre-made in the refrigerator for a few days. Warm in a slow oven (325F) before serving.

Give it a try!

Useful, Delicious Cheese Sauce

I have a recipe I want to share in the next post; it calls for my Cheese Sauce. I hesitated to add this recipe, as I very recently read that Martha Stewart makes a recipe close to this for her macaroni and cheese. I have never used this on macaroni, but I just might. However, let it be known that although Martha and I may have the same idea, I learned the basics at my mother’s elbow. Martha May have been making it before I was, I don’t know when she actually started to cook. She is a lot older than I am,(MEEE-OOOW!), but I learned the basics at my mother’s elbow.(My mother was old enough to be Martha’s as well; I’ll concede that).

First, you have to make a basic white sauce. It’s easier than you think.(Omit the onion, cheese and nutmeg and you have a basic ‘roux’,(pronounced “roo” or “rhoo”.) I will post recipes using it in the future.

Cheese Sauce
Take:
4 Tbsp. butter or margarine
2 Tbsp. minced onion,(fresh, or use 2 teaspoonfuls of onion powder, or onion juice and add after the sauce is thickened)
1/3 cup of flour (all purpose)
2 cups of milk
dash of white pepper,(or paprika)
dash of nutmeg,(optional)
dash of pepper sauce,(optional)
1 ½- 2 cups grated medium-sharp cheddar cheeses; I like a mix of both.If you throw in a piece of Gouda or other yellow cheese,it’s wonderful ( You can also make this with Pepper Jack, at your own risk..and it is not as versatile)

Melt the butter, (some people prefer it browned; I do not advise it). Cook the onion until tender, (again, not browned).
Remove from heat and slowly stir in the flour until it is as smooth as it can get with the onion bits in it; no flour lumps. It will be a thick paste.
Slowly add the milk,(a whisk comes in handy). Return the pan to the heat and stir constantly over medium heat ,(preferably with a wooden spoon), until it is quite thick. (If you need to leave it for any time, be sure the heat is very low and then whisk it strongly. Be sure to get the bottom of the pan and edges stirred throughout the entire cooking process).
Add the pepper or paprika, pepper sauce, nutmeg and /or onion options,(if using)
Lower the heat and add the cheese, stir until thoroughly melted and warmed through.
There you have it.

Now, serve it over any vegetable, baked fish, chicken, pork.

Pour over beef sliced thinly, piled on a bun thickly and make a delicious sandwich.

Serve over toast for a version of ‘Welsh Rabbit‘.

Mix with prepared rice or couscous for a side dish or as a complete non-meat protein,(rice/grain with dairy).Add cut green beans, peas or asparagus.

(Non-vegetarian: add grilled meat bits)

Pour over potato wedges, ‘Tater Tots’ or French fries for another tasty meatless protein; You can punch it up by topping it with meatless “Bacon Bits” or crispy-fried vegetable of your choice.

(Non-vegetarian: top with crumbled bacon).

Or, go ahead and pour it liberally over macaroni in a casserole dish. Top with extra cheese grated and bake until bubbly and browned..at least, that is what Martha would have you do. Make it with my blessing!

Placed in a sterilized jar and kept refrigerated, this will last for weeks;(do not freeze).

Kept chilled in a fancy jar or one with a fancy napkin or material square on the lid,this would also make a nice food gift.( You could add it to a basket of fresh vegetables, or pasta , couscous and/or fancy rice.)Just add a list of suggested uses and advice to keep it cold until use. Microwave or warm on stove on low,stirring often.