Cod Cakes – Inspired by Thomas Keller

Cod Cakes

Cod Cakes

There is a recipe in The French Laundry Cookbook for “Clam Chowder” which, of course, is nothing like clam chowder because it’s Thomas Keller’s twist on a classic dish. It’s cod cakes with cod and clams. It’s a fantastic dish, I’ve made it before, actually following the recipe. It takes hours. It is not a dish for a weeknight after work.

I used it as an inspiration for these cod cakes though. This made 3 servings.

  • 1 1/2 lb cod
  • 4 potatoes
  • 1 large shallot
  • 1/2 bulb fennel
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 2 c. white wine
  • herbs
  • peppercorns
  • 1/4 stick butter

  • Peel, dice and boil potatoes…preferably yukon golds, I used whatever I’d gotten from my CSA. Drain and mash up in a bowl with 1/4 stick of butter.
  • Dice and saute in olive oil: shallot, fennel, 1 clove garlic, celery. When soft, add to potatoes.
  • Trim true cod down so you have small, pretty, rectangular filets. Set those aside.
  • Cut the trimmings down to 1-2 inch pieces and put in a sauce pan with some herb sprigs (I used marjoram), 6 peppercorns, a clove of smashed garlic and a cup or 2 of white wine. Simmer until fish is cooked. Remove fish from pan and smoosh it up in the bowl w/ the sauteed veggies and potatoes.
  • Add salt and pepper and put the mixture in the refrigerator for a bit so you can handle it.
  • Once the mixture is cool, heat up olive oil in a pan and form patties out of the potato-cod mixture.
  • Place them in the heated olive oil and then walk away…don’t touch them until they are truly browned or they will fall apart and become potato-cod hash.
  • When brown, flip and leave them alone again.
  • Remove from pan and place on paper towels to absorb extra oil.
  • While the cod cakes are browning, cook your cod fillets up in olive oil with just salt as seasoning. Cod is beautiful on its own, you don’t need anything else.
  • I served them on top of a kohlrabi puree (like mashed potatoes only better). Or you can serve atop salad with a nice lemony vinaigrette (caesar salad is good, so is a butter lettuce salad with lemon-shallot dressing) – salad, then cod cakes, then cod filet on top.

Preparation time: 45 minute(s)