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Quick Cod Cakes and Tangy Red Pepper Sauce


  • 4 cups milk

  • 2 pounds cod fillets, cut into chunks

  • 1 bay leaf

  • Grated peel of 1 lemon and juice of 2 lemons, plus lemon wedges for serving

  • 1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning

  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram or oregano

  • A few dashes of hot sauce

  • Salt and pepper

  • 3 tablespoons grated onion and its juice

  • 3 cloves garlic, grated or minced, divided

  • 2 cups cracker crumbs or breadcrumbs, divided

  • 2 eggs, beaten

  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), for frying

  • 3 roasted red peppers, patted dry and coarsely chopped

  • 1 cup plain Greek-style yogurt

  • 1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped

  • 4 cups arugula or watercress


In a medium size saucepan, bring the milk to a simmer over medium heat. Add the cod and bay leaf and cook for 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fish to a large bowl and flake with a fork. Season with the lemon peel, half of the lemon juice, parsley, Old Bay seasoning, marjoram and hot sauce; season with salt and pepper. Add the onion and two-thirds of the garlic, then add half of the cracker crumbs and the eggs; stir to combine. Divide the mixture into quarters and form three patties from each quarter (12 patties total), about 3 1/2 inches wide. Coat the patties in the remaining cracker crumbs. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat a quarter inch of EVOO over medium heat. Add six patties at a time and cook, turning once, for 6 minutes. Using a food processor, mix together the roasted red peppers, yogurt, dill and the remaining lemon juice and garlic; season with pepper. Serve three patties per person with the sauce, lemon wedges and arugula.