Paleo Cod Cakes

My husband ate these like a Filet O Fish, with melted cheese on top.

I had a cold one for breakfast this morning.

They are really good.  If I were a better blogger, I would have taken measurements and photos.  But I didn’t.  I am remiss.  If I HAD taken a picture, this is what they might have looked like:

If you’re reading this, please don’t get scared away or get hung up on quantities, identities of food, cooking times, and other details.  Shoot from the hip and see where you wind up.  If you’re using leftovers, like I did, chances are your final product will taste better than what you started out with.  And if it doesn’t, then just don’t eat it.  You probably wouldn’t have eaten the leftover cod anyway.

Baked Crispy Cod Cakes

  • 12 oz. cooked cod (or whatever is left over from the Costco package that your kids refused to eat)
  • 1 cup turnip/parsnip mash.  Who knew parsnips were so heavy?  I bought four for the soup I made and only needed one.  Q: How do you disguise a parsnip?  A: As a mashed potato, engaging a turnip as an accomplice.  Peel ’em, cube ’em, boil ’em, and mash ’em with some butter, salt and pepper.  Save some for the fish cakes.
  • 5 green onions, the white part only.
  • 1 clove garlic (but ONLY IF your spouse/partner/roommate tolerates garlic better than mine does.  I skipped it but I know that a clove of garlic would be terrific here, adding a brandade-y flavor to the mixture. The cakes were tasty and our marriage is none the worse for the wear.)
  • 1 T dijon mustard
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 c. coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp. tarragon.  Take it easy here.  Tarragon is best used sparingly.
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • about a cup of almond meal or almond flour (or use whatever type of nut you like) for breading.  You can season this if you like.

Cut the cod into chunks and pulse in a food processor a few times till broken up. Add the green onions and garlic (if using) and process till the onions are chopped. Add the remaining ingredients up to the almond meal and process till uniform.  The cod will be stringy-looking.  Don’t worry–that’s the nature of cod, and I like it because it reminds me of brandade de morue.  If the mixture seems too loose to be scoopable, add more coconut flour or let it sit for a few minutes in the fridge to firm up.  The mixture should be on the loose side but firm enough to handle.

Pour the almond meal into a bowl.  Once the fish is the right consistency, plop an appropriately-sized scoop or measuring cup of it into the almond meal, cover the fish with the meal, form into nice patties, and place on a well-greased baking sheet.  Don’t be stingy with the fat; it will help you get that crispy crust bottom crust you know you want.  And don’t worry about the size of your patties.  I used a white disher to scoop them out.  My disher is unmarked but I think it is a #8 scoop.  If this means nothing to you, try a 1/2 cup measuring cup and see how it works.  My patties were the size of 6 oz. hamburgers. Smaller patties will take less time to cook through, so adjust your cooking time accordingly.  Once everything is scooped out, drizzle additional fat over the tops of the patties (full disclosure:  I used Pam.  I could say it’s part of my journey away from the finger cuffs, but really, I’m a little lazy and Pam is easier and neater.  Make your own choice).   I let the patties set up in the fridge for a few hours, but I don’t think this is necessary.

When it’s close to dinner time, preheat the oven to 375 and once it’s hot, pop the fish cakes in and bake them about 30-40 minutes, till they are cooked through and the coating is crispy and golden brown.

We ate these with a tomato soup and a carrot-fennel salad, neither of which came out well enough to write about.  But the cod cakes were so good that I didn’t want to forget about them.


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