1 pound cod fillets
2 large potatoes
½ teaspoon salt
1½ tablespoons butter
1 small egg
1½ tablespoons minced onion
1 teaspoon parsley
⅛ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon tarragon
1 large egg
¼ cup vegetable oil
½ cup breadcrumbs
Makes 6 codfish cakes. Takes 2¼ hours, more if you spill the bowl with beaten egg on yourself and you need to change clothes and beat another egg.
Cut cod into 1″ squares. Peel potatoes and cut them into fourths. Add potato and salt to large pot. Add enough water to cover. Bring to boil using high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes or until potato fourths are almost tender. Drain water. Mash potato fourths with potato masher or fork. Remove from heat.
Add cod to pan and cover with water. Simmer on low heat for 5-to-10 minutes or until cod becomes soft and begins to flake. Stir frequently. Drain water.
While cod simmers, beat small egg. Add cod, potato, butter, beaten small egg, onion, parsley, pepper, and tarragon to large mixing bowl. Mix with hands until well blended. Form mixture into 6 round, flat cakes.
Add large egg to second mixing bowl. Beat with whisk. Add breadcrumbs to plate. Dredge codfish cakes through breadcrumbs until completely coated. Dip coated codfish cakes into beaten egg. Refrigerate codfish cakes for 45 minutes or until they are firm.
Add oil to pan. Heat on medium-high heat until a little breadcrumb starts to dance in the oil. Add as many codfish cakes as possible to pan. (You might need to cook the cakes in batches.) Sauté cakes for 3-to-5 minutes on each side or until golden brown. (The time needed to cook the codfish cakes tends to go down with successive batch.) Serve via catapult or, more traditionally, on a plate. Goes well with tartar sauce.
1) The codpiece was a bag, or piece of clothing, that was sown into men’s pants. Men kept their lunch in it. Most of the time, the lunch was the ever popular cod. Hence, the codpiece.
2) Pause and reflect how amazing that tidbit 1) is true. I thought I had made something up but no, it’s all factual.
3) Renaissance women, having noses, objected to the foul smell emanating from their husbands’ fish-laden groins. It got so bad, that women went on a sex strike in 1454. This was a great opportunity for the porn industry to start. However, the lack of hand-held cameras, the internet with its downloading capabilities, and DVD daunted even the most entrepid entrepreneurs.
4) The DVD-deprived House of York favored giving into their spouses’s demands. The House of Not York favored keeping their fish lunch near their manhood. Tempers rose. Thing were said and soon civil war broke out between the two houses. From 1455 to 1485. Biff! Biff!
6) Thank goodness, that bloody civil war is over. The House of Not York won. Men everywhere cheered.
8) Not so, with their wives. Fishy groins still stank. Intimacy between spouses remained intermittent.
9) However, the husbands still wanted their bed dancing. This need proved to be an opening for enterprising prostitutes. And so, prostitution became a thriving industry along with chocolate chip cookies. Such cookies placed on the bordellos’s window sills lured customers in again and again. Kinda like S&H Green StampsTM during the 1950s and 1960s or even like frequent-flier miles now.
11) How did these horizontal entrepreneurs stand the codfish stench of their customers? By smoking tobacco. Smoking deadens the sense of smell.
12) The wives soon found out this secret and took up smoking as well. Men came back to their wives. Relations were resumed. Babies were born. The population soared. The supply of jobs didn’t. Men became restless and rioted. Monarchs fear revolutions. Monarchs feared losing their heads.
13) Kings everywhere enrolled angry, aimless youth into their military. Armies expanded. So, did the opportunities for conflict. Soon, vast armies of armed, cod-stuffing youths fought each other all over Europeans for centuries.
14) Refrigeration came to America in 1911. American men no longer needed to keep cod in their shorts. Men and women no longer need to deaden their noses with cigarettes. People could smell flowers again. Gardening became America’s national pastime. All was well in the USA.
15) Tragically, refrigeration did not come to Europe until 1915, too late to stop World War I. Nasally impaired leaders all over the continents sent an entire generation to its doom. If only they had been able to stop and smell the roses.
16) Thanks to refrigeration and the calming ability to smell roses there has not another major conflict to speak off aside from the Unpleasantness of 1939-1945 and a few other spats. Yay.
– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef
My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.