Astute readers will notice that the last few recipes have been from Gourmet Today, not The Gourmet Cookbook. Why is that, you may wonder?
Well, some of it is because Gourmet Today is Shiny and New. Crisp white pages unmarred by spills or spatters, binding intact, and best of all, over a thousand new recipes that I haven't even started to explore yet (where I have paged through The Gourmet Cookbook hundreds and hundreds of times).
Part of it is that I've exhausted the possibilities for a particular ingredient (as in today's case)--so I turn to the new cookbook for a recipe. Part of it is that it has categories the first book doesn't (can anybody say Cocktails?)
But most of it is because Melissa is The Girl who is Severely Pressed for Time.
I won't be tedious and list off all my vocational and avocational distractions but the beautiful thing is, guess what? I'm the target demographic for Gourmet Today which is to say I'm the person who wants healthy gourmet food super quick because I don't have any frickin' time. In fact, this is the little mental exercises I go through when I read a recipe. If at any point I think to myself "This looks like a pain in the ass", it goes into the "Do it Later--Much Later" category. That cuts out a lot.
So what that means for you, dear reader, is that you can look forward to double the fun here at Melissa Cooks Gourmet--and I am certainly eating my words from when I protested overly much last summer that I was NOT blogging this cookbook (do you hear me?) NOT (except well maybe for Drinks, Grilled Food and Vegetarian Entrees) NOT no matter how flattered I was to get a personal note from Ms. Reichl.
I take it all back, as I so often do.
Which leads us to today's recipe, Fresh Cod Cakes.
In case you don't know, I live on Cape Ann. See where the 39 is? That's about where I live. If you can't see the 39, it's over there by where it says Rockport Harbor. Except I live on land, of course.
And living in such a spiffy location means that it's not unusual for something like this to happen: you're at a party, and a guy is late, and you call him and say WHERE THE HECK ARE YOU and he says OH I JUST GOT OFF THE BOAT I'LL BE RIGHT THERE. And at some point in the night he puts 80 lbs. of filleted fish in the host's fridge and says HEY IF ANYBODY WANTS FISH I PUT IT IN THE FRIDGE. And everybody forgets about the fish and goes home all happy and warm and fuzzy and around midnight the host sends an emergency email saying FOR PETE'S SAKE COME TAKE THIS FISH OUT OF MY FRIDGE!!!!!!! And you go and get some the next day. A lot. And you get some for your friends who live near you who were at the party and you are a fish delivery girl, spreading joy and fish.
And that leads us (again) to Fresh Cod Cakes!
The head notes tell us that traditionally cod cakes are made with dried salt cod and potatoes (and for more on this subject (including recipes) please see the excellent and highly readable book by Mr. Mark Kurlansky called Cod.)
Here, we use fresh cod, bread, a little egg and some veggies (celery, scallions, parsely), which makes it much lighter. The recipe asks for 5 slices of bread for a pound of cod--they say white bread but all I had kicking around was some Ezekial Bread and some other multi-grain stuff and that's what I used. Everything gets pulsed in the food processor, seperately...a batch of bread crumbs, the veggies all together, and then the fish, being careful not to make fish paste.
Only a cup of the crumbs go in the fish mix--the rest are used for coating--and you mix it all up in a bowl with 1 egg and a little s&p. Then make patties and press the remaining crumbs all around the outside. Let them rest in the fridge for about ten minutes and then fry those babies up!
Hey by the way what do you think of my new frying pan? We had some of that expensive Calphalon stuff but now the nonstick whatever it is is starting to come up so we're replacing it. I like it because it's shiny.
Anyway, if you have some fish on your hands, give these a try--they're great. A totally satisfying meal with a simple green salad. Not too bready, and not dense at all.