Salt Cod and Crab Fritters

Salt Cod and Crab Fritters
by David Leite

You can prepare the fritters ahead and then fry them when you’re ready to eat. Save the potato skins for Potato Skin Curls with Fresh Herbs.Yields about 36 fritters.

8 oz. dried salt cod
1 lb. medium Yukon Gold potatoes (3 or 4), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
Kosher salt
3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, minced
3 medium cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbs. finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp. hot pepper sauce; more to taste
1 large egg, separated
8 oz. jumbo lump crabmeat, drained well and picked over
Vegetable oil, for frying

The day before you plan to serve the fritters, rinse the salt cod well under cool running water to remove any surface salt. Put it in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 24 hours, changing the water several times.

Bring a 4-quart saucepan filled with enough water to accommodate the cod (about 3 quarts) to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, add the soaked cod, and simmer gently until it flakes easily with a fork, 10 to 20 minutes. Drain well and let cool. Remove and discard any bits of skin, bone, or spongy ends.

Meanwhile, put the potatoes in a 4-quart saucepan and add enough cold water to cover by 2 inches. Add 1 Tbs. salt, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Simmer until tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain, transfer to a bowl, and mash well. Set aside.

In a 10-inch skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until golden brown, 4 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add to the mashed potatoes.

Pulse the cooked cod in a food processor until finely shredded. Add the cod to the potatoes, along with the cilantro and hot sauce. Mix well and season to taste with salt and more hot pepper sauce. Stir in the egg yolk and then gently fold in the crab. In a small bowl, whisk the egg white to soft peaks and gently fold it into the cod mixture.

Pinch off walnut-size pieces of the cod mixture, roll them into balls, and set aside on a tray. (The recipe may be prepared up to this point 2 hours ahead; keep refrigerated.)

Heat 1-1/2 inches of vegetable oil in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat until it reaches 360°F on a deep fat/candy thermometer. Fry the fritters in batches of 4 or 5 until golden-brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with paper towels to drain. Sprinkle with salt while still sizzling. Serve warm or at room temperature.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size: per fritter; Calories (kcal): 70; Fat (g): 4; Fat Calories (kcal): 35; Saturated Fat (g): 0; Protein (g): 6; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 2; Carbohydrates (g): 3; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1; Sodium (mg): 170; Cholesterol (mg): 20; Fiber (g): 0;
photo: John Kernick
From Fine Cooking 106, pp. 42
July 8, 2010

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