Breaded cod & potato croquettes, served in a green herb & butter sauce
I am so excited to share this recipe with you all today as I honestly thought it was going to turn into a fiasco. But luckily it ended up being one of the best recipes I have ever created! This recipe was based on a traditional Flemish recipe called ‘Paling in’t groen’ or ‘Eel in the Green’. It’s a Flemish regional dish, mainly from the area along the River Scheldt between Dendermonde and Antwerp.
The Flemish name refers to freshwater eel in a green herb sauce. The traditionally home-made meal is also sold fully prepared but still uncooked by some fishmongers’ shops or market stalls. The traditional recipe requires the eel to be cut in pieces of about 4 cm each and is then stewed in butter, flour and then served with a delicious green sauce.
There are various ways of making this green sauce and although the ingredients vary heavily, they are of course all green. We usually serve this with some Belgian fries or bread and some lemon wedges.
Now as I really don’t like eel I decided to completely change that part of the recipe. Instead I made something that’s more accessible and will generally be liked a bit more: fried breaded cod – potato balls. They are so easy to make and they are absolutely delicious! A crunchy layer on the outside with a soft filling on the inside and a minimal amount of herbs/spices, we only use chives. Why? Well we are serving it with a flavour bomb already. So there is no need to add any extra flavours to the fish, as they might end up clashing with the sauce.
I did struggle a little bit when it came to making the sauce. Some of the ingredients I really wanted to use (chervil) were simply not for sale here in Ireland. So I went for a combination of fresh ingredients. Flat-leaf parsley, curly parsley, spinach, basil, mint and a few dried ones: sage, thyme, marjoram, tarragon, and bay leaf. However, the key star in this recipe is Kerrygold butter, as I used it in both the sauce (twice!) and the fish balls.
With all that delicious Kerrygold butter in 1 recipe you might wonder why I love it so much? Well Kerrygold to me is simply an absolutely tasty butter and a company that holds tradition heritage in high regard. For over 6,000 years, Irish farmers have been milking cows and producing the finest dairy products. There are 17,000 family-owned farms and 36 co-op dairies. So 3 generations working on the same farm together is not a rare sight. Although a lot of farmland is being sold nowadays, a hectare of farmland is still only changed hands once every 400 years.
Apart from the quality of the butter, the happiness of the cows and their health, Kerrygold is also known to acknowledge talented Irish farmers. Each year they give The Kerrygold Quality Milk award to one hardworking farmer/farming family. And they celebrate the top quality milk farmers in Ireland. Dairy co-operatives throughout the country can nominate their top suppliers for the awards each year.
The farms nominated for the annual awards undergo a detailed assessment by an expert judging panel. This is based on milk quality test results and technical reports spanning a full 12 month period in order to select a short-list of finalists. The top farms are assessed based on Animal health and welfare, Dairy & parlour facilities, pride and passion, continuous improvement, hygiene and sustainability & the environment.
This year’s awards celebrated the heritage that makes irish milk unique. Irish farming is more than just a business, it is a way of life. Irish farmers learn their craft from their parents and grandparents before them. The winners of the NDC & Kerrygold Quality Milk Awards Winner 2016 are Tom and Moya Power, from Drumhills Farm, Cappagh, Co.Waterford.
If you live in Belgium make sure to keep an eye out on the Kerrygold Belgium page or the Kerrygold Belgium website. It’s the best place for the latest news and info on where to get this Irish butter in Belgium!
|4.5dl warm water|
|1 fish stock cube|
|1.5dl good quality white wine|
|2 cloves of garlic|
|100g baby spinach|
|40g curly parsley|
|70g fresh flat-leaf parsley|
|15g fresh basil|
|1/2 handful of fresh mint|
|1teaspoon dried sage|
|1teaspoon dried tarragon|
|1 teaspoon dried thyme|
|1teaspoon dried marjoram|
|2 bay leaves|
|1.5tablespoon lemon juice|
|4 cod fillets|
|300g dried breadcrumbs (panko)|
|60g Kerrygold salted butter|
|30g fresh chives|
|4 egg whites|