Breaded cod & potato croquettes, served in a green herb & butter sauce

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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.

Tradition

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.

Breaded fishcakes with cod & potatoes, served in a green herb 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.

Kerrygold

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.

Awards

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!

Kerrygold Salted Butter
Breaded fishcakes with cod & potatoes, served in a green herb sauce
Breaded fishcakes with cod & potatoes, served in a green herb sauce

Reviews

Ingredients:

Adjust Servings
4.5dl warm water
1 fish stock cube
1.5dl good quality white wine
3 shallots
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
6grinds pepper
1.5tablespoon lemon juice
4 cod fillets
300g dried breadcrumbs (panko)
250g potatoes
35ml milk
60g Kerrygold salted butter
30g fresh chives
4 egg whites

Directions

1.
Peel & boil the potatoes
Once boiled, gradually stir in 10g of butter and the milk to have a creamy potato mash. Make sure this mash is not too thick but don't make it into a runny mash either or the balls won't hold up. By adding the butter and milk gradually until you are pleased with the result you can avoid ending up with a mash that is too liquid.
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2.
Meanwhile add the stock cube to the a jar with 4,5dl warm water.
Stir and smash until dissolved.
Mark as complete
3.
Time for our herby green sauce
Heat up some water in a deep pot. Gather all the fresh ingredients: remove all the basil leaves, mint leaves form their stems and do the same for the parsley.
Roughly chop the shallots, there's no need to cut them finely as it'll all be going into a blender anyway.
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4.
Heat up 25g of butter in a deep pan and add shallots.
Once they start to glaze, add the water along with the wine and bay leaves, thyme, pepper, marjoram, sage and tarragon and continue to simmer at medium-high heat. Let the sauce cook for about 10 minutes in total. Discard the bay leaves before adding it to the blender.
Boil some water in a deep pot and add spinach and both parsleys and boil for 2 minutes. Drain the water and rinse off the spinach and parsley with cold water. Drain again and set aside.
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5.
Time to blend!
Add our freshly cooked spinach and parsley along with basil and mint. Add 25g of butter as well as half of the water/wine mixture and blend. Gradually add more of the wine/water until you have a good consistency.
Set aside.
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6.
Put all the fish (without skin) into a food processor
Add about 16 tablespoons of potato mash and the chives. Blitz a few times until everything is chopped up nicely and there are no chunks left.
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7.
Put three plates/pasta plates out on the table
In the first one you’ll have all your mash, in the second one you mix up some egg whites and in the third one you have the breadcrumbs.
This will become quite messy so I would recommend to do a few at the time so you don’t end up mixing egg whites with breadcrumbs the entire time.
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8.
Take a lump of the mash and shape it into a ball.
You want these to be bitesize, don’t make them any bigger than 5cm. Now dip the ball into the egg whites, roll it around and then drop it into the breadcrumbs. Set aside on a plate, you’ll notice the balls will firm up while they are set aside, which will help them keep shape once you start to fry them.
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9.
Heat up a deep fryer to 180°C and cook the balls for 3-5 minutes until golden brown and crispy.
Have any leftovers? You can easily freeze both the sauce and the fishcakes! To reheat the cakes you can deep fry them again or place them in the oven at 180°C.
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13 Comments

  • Jackie

    Yum this looks so good!

  • Candy Kage

    I have some cod in freezer need to use and will be trying out your breading

  • Carrie Hardy

    I just pinned this recipe yesterday!! These look and sound fantastic! I am going to try this this weekend!

  • Vanessa | Thirsty Radish

    Great idea! I’ve been in the mood for fish lately and this is a neat recipe!

  • Ellie Augustin

    This looks so good! I bet my kids would love this! Thanks for sharing.

  • Abby Castro

    Wow, so yummy! It looks so good and so easy to make! Love these kinds of recipes 🙂
    Abby of Life in the Fash Lane

  • Rachel C

    I’m so excited to make this recipe! When I lived in Germany there was a restaurant a few blocks from my house that served the most amazing croquettes!

  • Mar Ward

    These look delicious. While we don’t normally eat cod, we do love fish and I think this is a recipe my family would love! Happy New Year!

    • Tine at Home

      If you’re not too sure about the cod you can replace it with other fish as well but I would recommend sticking to white fish, not too sure if salmon would taste as good for example.

  • Shades of Green

    I’ve never made anything like this! Looks delicious and I love your images 🙂

  • Dahlia Joseph

    Oh my goodness! yum yum yum!

  • Natalija Cameron

    I love the history tidbits you’ve included in your post especially about Kerry gold- is one of our favorite butters! ❤ the croquettes look so delicious I could tuck right in! ?

  • Lynne Harper

    Yum. This is one recipe I’m definitely going to try. Love the butter as well so win win from me

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