Currently cooking out of Simple Weeknight Favorites from America’s Test Kitchen
Recently, I bought 10 pounds of cod. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Then I baked some and discovered that I don’t really like baked cod. Fortunately, I have this recipe to fall back on (after all, I still have 9 pounds of cod to use). And thanks to this recipe, I’ve now discovered garlic-basil aioli.
Garlic-basil aioli, where have you been all my life?
These little fish cakes start out with the aioli. You take mayonnaise, fresh basil, garlic and lemon juice and process them together until the mixture is smooth(ish) and pale green. Next you move onto the cod cakes. They start by pulsing cod fillets in a food processor until they are roughly chopped. To the fish, you add some of the aioli, an egg, panko bread crumbs, green onions and salt and pepper. You form the mixture into patties, dredge the patties in more panko bread crumbs and then fry them until they are golden brown.
These were utterly delicious. They weren’t fishy at all, they had good flavor on their own and the crispy crust was a delightful contrast to the soft interior. The aioli didn’t overpower the cod cakes, but it gave them some zing. I added a bit more lemon juice to my aioli because I wanted more of the tartness. The lemon juice also cuts the fat of the mayonnaise and makes the whole mixture feel lighter.
Even leftovers were pretty good. Of course the crust softened up, but a few minutes in a skillet, and the leftovers were as crunchy as they were on the first day.