Ottolenghi's Cod Cakes in Tomato Sauce

As you can see I am trying to make every recipe in this book.

I've had this recipe bookmarked from Ottolenghi's book JERUSALEM for a while now (you still don't have the book yet?), and since wild cod was on sale at my fish market, I bought enough to make this dish for company.

This is the perfect Christmas Eve dish if you're doing the Feast of the Seven Fishes (which I am invited to!).

This is a time consuming recipe, it took about 2 hours, from start to finish, but it was worth it and exceeded all my expectations and more!

The sauce was amazing, and the cod cakes were PERFECT!

So far everything in their cookbooks have been excellent. My goal is to eventually make everything in the books!
Now that's really putting a cookbook to good use!

I followed the recipe to the letter, and my cakes were firm (I've heard that before!), and did not fall apart, like some reviewers mentioned. The recipe says that the cakes should be loose, so if you find them falling apart, then refrigerate them for 30 minutes to firm up.

If you are making this for Christmas Eve, I suggest you to make the cod cakes earlier in the day and keep them in the fridge until ready to fry, this way you will have time to prepare your other dishes, if serving.

The sauce is the easy part and reminded me of my Grandmother's stuffed cabbage sauce, because of the sweetness and the lovely spices.

Your kitchen will smell wonderful while cooking this dish!

Try and find sustainable cod from a reputable fish monger (not frozen from China from Trader Joe's......a gentle suggestion).

Cod Cakes in Tomato Sauce: (adapted from Jerusalem)
Serving suggestion: Serve with bulgar, rice, or couscous, or alongside sautéed spinach or Swiss chard.

Serves 4

For the Cod Cakes:
3 slices of white bread, crusts removed
1.5 lbs. wild cod (sustainably sourced), halibut, hake or pollock fillet, skinless and boneless
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1/3 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1/3 cup fresh cilantro finely chopped
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
2 large eggs, beaten
4 tbsp olive oil

For the tomato sauce:
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp ground coriander
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup white wine
14 oz. can chopped tomatoes
1 red chili deseeded and finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tsp sugar
2 tbsp fresh mint leaves for garnish
salt and black pepper

First make the tomato sauce. Heat the olive oil in a 10" skillet that has a lid, and add the spices and onion.

Cook for 8-10 minutes on low, until the onion is completely soft. Add the wine and simmer for 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, chili, garlic, sugar, ½ tsp of salt and some black pepper. Simmer for about 15 minutes, until the sauce is very thick, taste to adjust the seasoning and set aside.

While the sauce is cooking make the fish cakes. Place the bread in a food processor and blitz to form breadcrumbs. Chop up the fish very finely (I chopped mine in the food processor, with 2 pulses) and place in a bowl with the bread and everything else, apart from the olive oil.

Mix well and then, using your hands, shape the mixture into compact cakes, about 2cm thick and 8cm wide. The mixture should make 8 cakes (I got 9). If they are very soft, refrigerate for 30 minutes to firm up.

Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a frying pan and sear the cakes for 3 minutes on each side, so they get some nice golden color.

Place the seared cakes gently, side by side, in the tomato sauce. Add enough water to partially cover the cakes, about 1 cup. Cover the pan with the lid and simmer on a very low heat for 15-20 minutes.

Turn off the heat and leave the cakes to settle, uncovered, for at least 10 minutes before serving warm or at room temperature. Sprinkle with fresh mint.


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Anonymous said…
A bit 'fiddly', as the Brits say, but looks worth the effort. Double WOW!
Ciao Chow Linda said…
I had these last year at a friend's house and I have to confess, they give my baccalĂ  cakes a fun for their money - I love the flavors here. Their food is so special and different from everything else out there.
Wow, I love this idea they look so good Stace!
Jordan Stern said…
Your fish market must be the whole foods in Madison! I too picked up a few pounds of the cod on sale. Made some of my roasted "Jerk" cod filets. Froze some too. I think this recipe will be the next cod dinner. Thanks!
Stacey Snacks said…
I actually like the fish guys at Short Hills Kings better than WF. They know me and always cut me the best that they have.
These were truly delicious, you will love them!
Natalia said…
That is a fantastic dish which I may try on Christmas Eve. As a Ukrainian, we have 12 traditional dishes which are meat and dairy-free on Christmas Eve. among them 2-3 fish dishes. I can definitely substitute this fish dish for one of my standard ones and wow my family - thanks Stacey!
Eileen said…
These look amazing. I have something else planned for my New Year's Day brunch, but should maybe reconsider and make this. Happy Holidays, Stacey!
I adore this dish. I made it a long time ago and LOVED it just like you. I must make it again asap :) Thanks for the reminder. xx
Winnie said…
We made these beauties this weekend.
What a production, but WELL WORTH IT! These are the BEST! Wow!
Thanks for posting another great recipe, you make me look good.