What's for Dinner: Fish and Corn Cakes


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What, you say, you don’t like fish? Better to try this awesome recipe before you declare your life to be fish-free.  

Made with roasted, mild-tasting cod that’s been rolled in crunchy panko, these lightly fried cakes are sweet and delicate. Your kids will never ask for Mrs. Paul’s again!  Fresh corn kernels and lemon zest add a seasonal punch of flavor. 

If you don’t have cornichons (small pickled gherkins) for the tartar sauce, regular dill pickles work just fine. 

For tartar sauce

½ cup mayonnaise

3 tablespoons finely chopped cornichons or dill pickle

1 tablespoon whole grain mustard

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

½ teaspoon sugar

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For fish cakes

1½ pounds skinless firm white fish fillets (such as cod, haddock or grouper)

2 tablespoons olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 large egg

¼ cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

½ cup fresh (or frozen, thawed) corn kernels

2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

2 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs), divided

¼ cup (or more) vegetable oil

Lemon wedges (for serving)

Make tartar sauce: Mix mayonnaise, cornichons, mustard, lemon juice and sugar in a small bowl; season with salt and pepper. This can be done up to 2 days ahead.

Prepare fish cakes: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place fish on a rimmed baking sheet and rub with oil; season generously with salt and pepper. Roast until fish flakes easily, 8 to 10 minutes; let cool. Using a fork, break fish into large pieces; set aside.

Whisk egg, mayonnaise, and lemon zest in a large bowl. Add fish, corn, chives, and ½ cup panko; season with salt and pepper and mix gently to combine. Gently form mixture into ¾-inch-thick patties (you should have 12; I made 6 large patties). Chill on a parchment-lined baking sheet until firm, 30-35 minutes.

Place remaining panko in a shallow bowl; season with salt and pepper. Coat patties in seasoned panko, pressing gently to adhere.

Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, cook patties until golden brown, about 4 minutes per side. (If panko begins to burn between batches, wipe out skillet and start with new oil.) Transfer patties to a wire rack and season with salt.

Serve with tartar sauce and lemon wedges for squeezing.

Serves 4 to 6.

— Bon Appetit


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