This is an adaptation of a recipe from a fisherman's wife. To make fresh bread crumbs, pulse sliced white bread, with crusts, in a food processor.
- 1 lb. russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 5 Tbsp. salted butter
- Freshly ground white pepper
- 3 skin-on, boneless cod filets (about 2 lbs.)
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp. milk
- 2 eggs
- 3 1⁄2 cups coarse fresh white bread crumbs
- 1 1⁄3 cups sunflower oil
Put potatoes into a medium pot, cover with cold water, season with salt to taste, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until potatoes are soft, about 30 minutes. Drain potatoes and return to empty pot. Add 3 tbsp. of the butter and coarsely mash. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, place cod in a medium pot, cover with cold water, and season with salt to taste. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until cooked through, about 8 minutes. Drain cod and set aside to let cool slightly. Using your fingers, flake cod into a large bowl, discarding skin and any small bones. Add mashed potatoes to cod.
Melt remaining butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until golden, about 12 minutes. Add onions to cod mixture, mix well, and adjust seasonings. Form mixture into eight 3 1⁄2"-wide patties. Beat milk and eggs together in a wide shallow dish; put bread crumbs into a separate wide shallow dish. Coat each fish cake in egg mixture, then dredge in bread crumbs. Transfer cakes to a plate.
Heat half of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Fry 4 fish cakes until golden on both sides, about 5 minutes total, and transfer to paper towels to let drain. Discard oil, wipe out skillet, and repeat process with remaining oil and fish cakes. Serve hot.