I have been thinking a lot about traditions lately, and it’s apropos of these Cod Fishcakes that I’d like to leave an idea in your mind. Please humor me…
As anyone who’s ever written about their own country’s traditional food finds out, there’ll soon be controversy over the definition of “traditional”, and what it comprises. This is something that we ourselves have poured much virtual ink into, and the source of many a controversy.
Like the description at the top of our blog reads, we certainly write about traditional Dominican culinary culture, but ultimately, this is a personal blog, we write about the food we love (which usually connect us back to our beloved half-island), but it’s also about our adventures, in and outside of the kitchen.
This dish, my dear readers, despite the fact that each and every ingredient is readily available in our country, and the fact that it is very close to another traditional Dominican dish (bacalaítos), it’s a traditional Danish food called fiskefrikadeller. One of my favorites. Many could be fooled after all, taste, texture and ingredients are very close to our liking.
They have become part of our multicultural family’s tradition.
Yes, I just posted a decidedly non-Dominican dish. And I am pretty sure that if you tried it, you’d love it too.
With the exception of casabe, little to nothing remains of the culinary culture of the first inhabitants of the island. Each and every one of our favorite dishes came from elsewhere. Each of these creations, adaptations and imported dishes was new at some time. Wave after wave of immigrants brought their dishes and adapted them to what was available at the time.
The answer to “kipe is Lebanese” is “no, kibbeh is Lebanese”. Our own kipe has departed from the original in so many ways that I wouldn’t be surprised if the Lebanese and other Middle Eastern people thumb their nose at ours.
Traditions are important, we know as well as anyone, after all, we have been writing about our traditional food for 13 years. But tradition should not be an anvil to be tied around innovation, traditions appear all the time, we must be open to new things. “Man doesn’t live of bread alone”, and Dominicans don’t live of rice and beans alone.
For this cod fishcakes recipe I consulted several books about traditional Danish cookery.
Unsurprisingly, no two recipes were alike. I ended up picking what I liked and worked best, as well as making a few changes of my own.
The result was a slightly fluffier fishcake than I am used to, I am not sure why (I eat entirely too many of them when I am in Denmark), but I actually liked it. Give it a try, who knows, maybe you’ll start a new family tradition.
- 3/4 lb [0.35 kg] fresh codfish (see notes)
- 1/3 heavy cream or whole milk
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 medium white onion , chopped
- 2 tablespoon of all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley
- 2 cups of vegetable oil for frying (like soy)
Mix all the ingredients, except for the oil in the food processor until the fish is chopped into small pieces.
Heat oil in a 2 quart pot [2 lt].
Carefully place balls made from two tablespoons of the fish mixture (I used an ice cream scoop). Fry until they turn golden brown. Place on paper towels to absorb the excess oil.
Traditionally codfish is found salted and dry in the Dominican Republic, for this dish, however, we'll need fresh (or frozen fresh) fish.