DSC 0362a
Last night I was experimenting on my husband and his good friend Mark who is in from Tennessee for a visit. My husband and Mark go way back, they lived across the street from each other and met when they were about 3.
My husband says his first memory of Mark was him standing there with an airplane in one hand and a doctor bag in the other. Mark said “I am going to fly and fix people”. Guess what? Mark does in fact fly planes for a hobby and he is a doctor. A Pediatric Hospitalist to be exact..
I would love to know how many kids actually grow up to be exactly what they said they were going to be at the age of 3…how cool is that!
I am hosting Christmas Eve this year and am half Polish. Following what my grandmother has always done on our Polish Christmas Eve means we eat a meatless dinner which includes among other things fish and homemade pierogi .
Ok, let’s talk about pierogi making. I can cook and love to do it BUT a couple of years ago when my sister and I said…we will make the pierogi…we had no idea what we were in for….it was ours and hours of work for not a huge yield of pierogi. I seriously could have made everything I needed to host a party of 20 in the time it took to make those pierogi. We were covered in flour and dead on our feet…then like 2 crazy people we did it again last year. I am sooo not doing that ever again…they can’t make me!!It’s either up to my siblings or off to downtown Philly I go to find a nice Polish church and load up the car with pierogi…
no one has to know.

My Grandmom is now 97 and as fit as a fiddle, she needs bright light to see but she knows what she is doing just by the feel of it. She is a drill sergeant in the kitchen when it comes to making those little Polish bundles. “The dough is not thin enough” she says!
She is a better woman than I am for sure!!
SO…I will worry about everything else (except those curs-ed pierogi)
I am planning a nut encrusted Haddock (which I have made before and it’s delish.
I will post it after Christmas) and fish cakes for the main course. I fed the boys my first attempt at fish cakes and they gave it the thumbs up.
We had a Caesar Salad, the cakes, roasted cauliflower, stuffed butternut squash and a nice Riesling.

Fish Cakes

1 1/2 pounds cod, haddock or halibut
4 TBS light olive oil
3/4 cup chopped green onion, white and greens
4 strips flat anchovies, chopped
3 TBS chopped parsley
1 teaspoon grainy, Dijon mustard (I use Grey Poupon Country)
2 TBS flour
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon grated or finely chopped lemon peel
2 to 4 TBS mayonnaise (just enough to hold it together nicely)
Optional: A few dashed of Tabasco
1 cup Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
The inside of 1 loaf of french bread (pull out the innards and rip into small pieces for breadcrumbs)


3/4 cup light olive oil
4 oz jar or capers, drained
1/2 cup parsley leaves
5 anchovy fillets
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 garlic cloves chopped into quarters

Add all sauce ingredients to food processor or blender and process until smooth.
Serve sauce at room temperature.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil on a large skillet on medium-high heat.
Add fish fillets of your choice. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper and cook for about 3-4 minutes a side until just opaque in the center.
Remove from pan and cool on a plate.

Once fish is cool enough to handle, flake it with a fork or your fingers into a good sized bowl. Mix in green onions, anchovies, parsley, garlic, flour, mustard and lemon peel and breadcrumbs. Combine until incorporated. Grab a good handful and shape into cakes. Pressing down firmly in your hands to really squish together.
Refrigerate for at least 1 hour allowing the cakes to hold up.
When ready to cook, place Panko crumbs in a small bowl. Heat 2 TBS or olive oil over medium high heat. Lightly dip cakes one at a time into the Panko crumbs…just enough to give a light covering to the top and bottom of the cake, not the whole thing.
Cook about 3-4 minutes on the first side or until golden brown and lightly crispy, gently flip, reduce heat to medium and cook until golden brown and lightly crispy on the other side, about 4 minutes more. Turn off the heat, let the cakes sit in the pan while you either spoon sauce onto a platter and place cakes on top or plate cakes and spoon sauce over top or serve with sauce on the side. These cakes could also be served with a tarter or Cajun remoulade sauce.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *