Salt Cod Fritters and Brandade – Cook-the-Book-Fridays

Round fritters pan fried more evenly than those shaped in balls


fritters with a tartar sauce

I was told the restaurant businesses have gone down across the board in Manhattan since the election, as compared to the same period in prior years. You can easily get a table in normally busy restaurants. The probable cause, as a restaurant owner explained to me, was that people didn’t feel like going out. They wanted to hunker down and stayed home. To the contrary, take-out places were doing well. Obviously, these observations are simply anecdotal evidence, I did not think much of it. It didn’t occur to me that our emotional state and behavior are so tightly linked to our political life — until now. I’ve found myself having trouble focusng my thoughts to compose a coherent post in the gathering storm on this day. So I’ll keep it brief.

I’ve made brandade before; it was not bad, but nothing special either. To make the David Lebovitz’s fritters from My Paris Kitchen, it’s necessary to buy the salt cod, soak it for 24 hours and make a cod and potato puree. At that point, I split the recipe, oven baked half of it in a gratin dish and made the fritters with the rest. I made the tartar sauce that accompanied the fritters.

I did not want to fry the fritters, for obvious reasons: too much fat. I used a spoonful of oil, dipped the fritters in a beer batter and pan fried them. Slowly, I figured out (my gears turning in fits and starts) that flattening the fritters, shaped initially in small balls followed by a short rest in the refrigerator, with the back of a measuring cup into rounds made more sense. I was able to turn the patties more easily and fried both sides evenly. The flat crusty exterior balanced well with just a thin layer of brandade inside.

Topped with panko and grated Parmesan

Please visit Cook-the-book-fridays to see the comments and discussions on this recipe from the online group, a community of engaging home cooks, who are working through each and every recipe in David Lebovitz’s My Paris Kitchen. You are welcome to join the group and cook along with us.

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  • Reply
    January 21, 2017 at 12:41 am

    Two good winners for sure. Yours look wonderful, the coloring is perfect.

  • Reply
    January 21, 2017 at 12:46 am

    I know what you mean about not wanting to say much today. I've been cooking most of the day to nourish my soul and then to feed my family. I think the flat fritters are where I ended up too, but not until the last set. My balls weren't turning out round, but it took me a while to figure out to just go with the shape they seemed to want. I might try oven baking them on a greased sheet. My crabcakes turn out even better that way then when I used to pan fry them.

  • Reply
    KB from Prof Who Cooks
    January 21, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    Hugs, Shirley, and I get it. I actually was taking today's post as a chance to focus on something different. It's a rough day/weekend, for sure. I'm happy to be counting down now instead of counting up–it's the small things, eh? Thanks for that tip re flattening them. I assume I'll make these again sometime, perhaps with another fish, but not wanting to fry them (don't like the smell for hours afterward) in a bunch of oil is the goal!

  • Reply
    Mardi (eat. live. travel. write.)
    January 21, 2017 at 11:37 pm

    Yup I hear you. Kind of speechless myself. On the subject of the fritters though, yes, flattening them as I shaped them made them easy to pan fry.

  • Reply
    January 24, 2017 at 11:51 am

    Love the colors of both dishes you made; and the colors in the photos in this post! Now why did I not think of flattening them down abit? Anyways, I made rounds and oval/oblong shapes too!

  • Reply
    Mary Hirsch
    January 25, 2017 at 12:08 am

    Sorta like salmon patties? I made the brandade and fritters all in one week so I've been "testing" cod, de-salted. While I'm very happy I tried this, it was time-intensive. And, those delicious fritters, I popped too many of those in my mouth. Of course, I didn't think of the patty idea nor even knew about shallow frying so mine were fried to the nth degree. I also have had this before in restaurant and think I will leave it to others to prepare. Yes, this is a dark time for our democracy. I'm struggling. What I find out this week-end was that I am not alone in this and I think there is power in numbers.

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