Leftover mashed potatoes and leftover cod make for a simple, quick, and delicious dinner. Irish Cod Cakes are crispy on the outside, creamy good on the inside, and come together in a snap! You can easily prepare them ahead of time and chill until you’re ready to cook them.
St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner. It’s one of those holidays that I truly enjoy because I traced my roots to Ireland. I AM Irish and can prove it!
Celebrating the holiday in the US is a bit different than in Ireland, for sure. The food isn’t the same. Corned beef and cabbage is something we made up.
However, there is bacon and cabbage which is similar. At least I think it is. It’s back bacon sliced and boiled with cabbage and potatoes. Swap the bacon for the brisket and voila!
Recently I’ve been going back to my roots in recipes for my blog. For Christmas Cookies Week, I made some traditional cookies my ancestors might have made. This included an Irish shortbread cookie that I fell in love with. So crispy! So buttery.
Not that I haven’t shared some of my family or pseudo-traditional recipes on my blog. But lately I’ve really been trying to go back to my roots and cook foods that my ancestors ate. Connecting to my roots as far back as they go.
I’ve shared an Irish brown soda bread but that was a while ago. That post needs a revamp. I shared Irish nachos recently, but those aren’t traditional fare for Ireland. There’s a few Irish coffee baked goods and a stout cupcake that’s delicious. However, I’m lacking in the traditional recipe department.
Most people think of colcannon, boxty, and maybe a lamb stew or two when they think of traditional Irish recipes. The common denominator here is the potato. Well, the potato wasn’t always cultivated in Ireland. So, what did they eat before the potato?
Most of their diet revolved around dairy. The fertile green pastures of Ireland make for awesome cattle grazing. And sheep grazing. Milk was predominant before potatoes. Milk, cheese, and butter! So much butter.
But Ireland is an ISLAND!
Oysters, mussels, and herring and scallops are all part of the Irish diet. The hunter-gatherers that arrived in the Mesolithic era ate mostly fish with some birds, boar, and hazelnuts thrown in the mix. Yes, I know. That’s going a bit back in time, but seafood has been a staple of the Irish diet.
It’s an ISLAND! How can it NOT be part of their diet?
These cod cakes are a perfect example of the integration of the potato into the Irish diet. It combines left over mashed potatoes with cod. Mashed potatoes have what in them? That’s right! Milk and butter. Fold in some cod and you’ve got a delicious appetizer, snack, or dinner depending.
One of the recipes I remember growing up is potato pancakes. If we had leftover mashed potatoes, you could almost guarantee that Nana would make potato pancakes. And you could almost guarantee that Dad would make potato pancakes.
Potato pancakes, as I know them, are more like boxty. However, boxty has grated potato combined with the leftover mashed potatoes. I’m sure this is how my ancestors made them. But as food became scarce during rough times, they left out the grated potato.
I still make them to this day. If we have leftover mashed potatoes, I try to make potato pancakes because they are so good. You can add some chives, cheese, little bits of leftover bacon. They truly are the best way to use up leftover mashed potatoes.
And that’s sort of what these Irish cod cakes are; a great way to use up leftover mashed potatoes. And leftover cod or other white fish you have laying around. You simple fold the two together, dip in flour, egg, then breadcrumbs and cook.
I could have pan fried them, but I since I’m addicted to my air fryer, I decided to make this an air fryer recipe! Of course, you don’t have to put these in an air fryer. You could easily fry these up in the pan like you would crab cakes. Or pop them in the oven. But if you do that, you might want to extend the cooking time.
If you don’t have cod or other fish laying around, you can poach some like I did. In fact, that’s how the recipe starts; poaching the fish in garlic flavored milk. If you’re mashed potatoes seem a little dry, you might want to keep some of the milk to bring the ingredients together. I didn’t need to do that. Mine were too wet.
It took everything I had NOT to make potato pancakes with those mashed potatoes. However, I’m glad I didn’t. These Irish cod cakes are so easy to whip up. They taste delicious! And they’re super crispy on the outside. If you make small ones you can serve them as an appetizer. Mine were crab cake sized and I ate mine with fries.
Because I’m an Irish potato hoor.
And because I’m addicted to our air fryer.
But, I did get some delicious looking young zucchini at the store today. That would be delicious sauteed up and served with these Irish cod cakes. They would also be delicious served over a spring greens salad with some onion, grape tomatoes, maybe a light lemon vinaigrette. Heck, serve them however you want to serve them!
I love going back to my roots and finding a new favorite recipe for us to eat. Sometimes we do have leftover fish in the fridge. Aside from some tacos, this is another delicious recipe I can make with it. Even if I don’t have leftover mashed potatoes, I can get a steam and mash pack and voila! Mashed potatoes.
I get the point at some point. St. Patrick’s Day will be upon us soon. I hope you will make something more traditional for St. Patrick’s Day or at last think about it. I will still corned beef and cabbage because I can eat my weight in corned beef. But, I will have some brown bread, and maybe I’ll make an Irish apple cake, too.
What do you serve up for St. Patrick’s Day?
- 1 pound cod
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 2 cloves garlic (size does not matter)
- 2 cups mashed potatoes
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 1/2 cups toasted panko
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Place the milk in a shallow pan. Add the cloves of garlic and bring to a light simmer.
- Once bubbles form around the edges of the pan, add the fish and cook 5 to 8 minutes. Insert a toothpick into the thickest part of the fish. If it slides out easily, then the fish is cooked. If not, then continue to check the fish every minute or so being careful not to overcook the fish.
- Remove the fish from the milk and let it cool to the touch.
- While the fish is cooling, combine the mashed potatoes with the garlic, parsley, and chives.
- Place the flour in a shallow dish. Lightly beat the eggs and place a separate shallow dish. Place the toasted panko with the garlic salt and black pepper in a third shallow dish.
- Once the fish cools, crumble into the bowl with the mashed potato mixture. Fold the fish into the mashed potatoes until just combined.
- Form into 8 patties. Dredge in the flour, the egg, and then the panko. At this point you could refrigerate until you're ready to cook the cod cakes.
- Preheat your air fryer to 360. Spray the cakes with cooking spray or spritz with oil before cooking for 7 minutes on one side. Spray the other side and cook 7 more minutes.
- Carefully remove them with a spatula and allow to cool slightly before garnishing with chives and serving.
St. Patrick’s Day Recipes
- Bangers and Mash by Everyday Eileen
- Easy Boxty by Our Good Life
- Brownie Batter Fudge for St. Patrick’s Day by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Cod Cakes by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Green Velvet Cookies by Kelly Lynn’s Sweets and Treats
- Irish Buck Cocktail by Family Around the Table
- Irish Cheddar Ale Mac and Cheese by Cheese Curd In Paradise
- Irish Cream Poke Cake by Strawberry Blondie Kitchen
- Irish Soda Bread Scones by Kate’s Recipe Box
- Potted Crab by Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Shamrock Shake by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Slow Cooker Irish Stew with Guinness by Palatable Pastime