Cod Cakes with Leek Mustard Sauce

These cod cakes help make just over a pound of cod (or other fish) go pretty far, so they’re good for a small crowd or family dinner. This leek mustard sauce has some sweet and tangy notes that come from white wine, mustard, sour cream, and apricot jam, which might seem like an odd addition, but it works! If you don’t have apricot jam, you could add a few pinches of sugar, or maybe a tablespoon or two of orange juice. Just make sure to wash your leeks very well before cooking–there is a 100% chance that there is a ton of dirt in between the layers! You can either slice lengthwise and run each layer under water, or, you can chop to your desired size and then put in a large bowl of water. This way, the dirt will settle to the bottom and you can scoop out your clean leeks from the top. I promise it isn’t that much of a hassle, and the leeks are worth it! Also, you can use fresh dill if you want for the cod, I just haven’t had any luck finding it in stores since the start of the Covid lockdown. Anyway, here is the recipe. Smacznego!

*Makes approximately 11-14 cod cakes


Ingredients:

Cod cakes:

  • ~1.25 lbs cod (or other whitefish such as pollock) cut into small pieces
  • 1 leek, quartered lengthwise then chopped into 1/2 inch pieces (use white and green part, but just remove the top 1-2 inches of darkest green)
  • 1 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1/3 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp dried dill
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 3 tbsp dried bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs
Leek Mustard Sauce:
  • 1 leek, quartered lengthwise then chopped into 1/2 inch pieces (use white and green part, but just remove the top 1-2 inches of darkest green)
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1.5 cups water or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1.5 tsp Polish style mustard (Dijon is fine too)
  • 1.5 tsp apricot jam
  • 1/3 cup sour cream (remove from fridge at beginning and bring closer to room temp.)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley (for serving)

Directions:

Begin by cooking the leeks for both the cod and the sauce at the same time. Heat a large pan to medium heat with 1-2 tbsp of olive oil, or other oil or butter. Add a few pinches of salt and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the leeks are soft. Take approximately 1/4 cup and put it in a large bowl for cod cakes, and put the rest in a small bowl for the sauce later. You will use the same pan for the rest of the dish, so no need to wash or wipe down.

To make cod cakes, add 1/4 cup cooked leeks, and all ingredients in cod ingredient list. The cod should be in small pieces (about 3/4 inch rough chop), or chopped for a few seconds in a food processor. Mix everything together by hand. The mix should be a little wet, but hold together easily when squeezed.

Then, heat the same pan you used for the leeks to medium to medium-high heat (about 6 or 7 on dial) with about 2 tbsp oil. Form mix into small balls and flatten slightly until about 2-3 inches wide and about 3/4 inch thick. Place on pan and cook for about 3 minutes on each side, or until they develop a slight crust. Remove and put aside on a plate. You may need to do two batches.

Next, continue to make sauce by putting the rest of the leeks on the pan, turning heat down to low. Add wine and cook for about 3 minutes until it reduces. Add garlic, mustard, water/stock, and jam. Stir well and cook for another 3 minutes. Then add the sour cream while stirring (if you add in cold sour cream it will likely separate). Cook for 3 minutes, or until the sauce thickens. Taste the sauce and adjust seasoning as necessary. Finally, place cod cakes on top and cook for 5 more minutes. Add parsley on top and serve.

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