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Old Fashioned Salt Fish Cakes

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  • 12 ounce package of salt fish, any type (this is usually found in the fish section of the market)
  • 5 or 6 medium potatoes, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons margarine
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 medium eggs
  • fat for frying

Remove the fish from it's package. Rinse it under cool running water to remove the outer layer of salt. Look at it carefully and pluck out any stray bones you may see. Some folks use tweezers to do this, but I just use strong fingers. Place the fish in a bowl and fill the bowl with tap water. Soak for about an hour, changing the water once or twice during the soaking period. 

Meanwhile, peel the potatoes. When the fish is done soaking, combine it and the potatoes in a large pot of hot water. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat, and simmer for about 40 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Drain off the water. 

Look at the fish, which will be quite tender by now, and pull out any remaining bones you may find. Now mash the potatoes and fish together with a potato masher, or electric beaters. Add the margarine, pepper and eggs and continue mashing until the mixture is relatively smooth. 

You may deep fry or pan fry this mixture, as you prefer. To deep fry, drop the mixture into deep hot fat by spoonfuls and fry until golden brown, about 2 minutes. To pan fry, heat some bacon grease or margarine in a large skillet. Drop the fish mixture by patty size spoonfuls into the fat. Coax the fish mixture into a flat, round shape while it is cooking. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

I like to make the fish/potato mixture well ahead of time, and then chill it until I am ready to prepare it. These are traditionally served at breakfast, but they are also good at lunch or supper. This is a 300 year old recipe, dating from the time when fish had to be salted to be preserved. 

Freezer Cooking

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