Fish Cakes version 0.01
It's been a long time since I made a fish cake, so I'm starting over. As usual, I'm stealing ideas from a number or recipes and fashioning my own. The scallions and dry mustard come from the Legal Seafood recipe.
There's a continuum for fish cake recipes. The simplest, and probably historically most authentic, are those with fish, potato, salt, pepper, maybe parsley (but I wonder how much parsley was used in colonial America, I'm sure I don't know) maybe some cream or butter. At the other end is a recipe like LaGasse's calling for cream, exotic (for the time) spices, celery, and more. Every recipe takes an egg or two. I'm trying to land near the middle with my try at fish cakes.
Here's what I did. Get the best cod fillets you can. Work at this, get 2 lbs or so.
Colmans dry mustard (secret ingredient)
2 russet potatoes
bread crumbs, unseasoned
a yellow onion
butter, maybe cream, but not much
Poach the cod until it flakes. Reserve, and get it cooled.
Peel, and cook the potatoes as if for mashed potatoes.
mince the scallions, just the white bits, 4-5 of them.
mince 2-3 cloves of garlic
finely chop about 1/3 cup of parsley
grate some yellow onion, about a teaspoon
Mash the potatoes with the scallions, garlic, parsley and onion, a 1/2 tsp of the Colmans dry mustard and salt and pepper. Keep the potatoes dry, not like real mashed potatoes. Adjust these ingredients until you get a potato mixture that you are happy with, so you have to make fish cakes a bunch of times until it's right for you. It's like making dill pickles to exhibit at the state fair, there isn't a right way.
Flake the cod in a bowl, and add some of the potato mixture until it's about 75% cod and 25% potato. Form into patties, and saute until golden brown on each side. Serve with the home-made Boston baked beans your mother taught you how to make. Ketchup on the side for the beans.