Polenta-Crusted Fish Cakes with Spicy Tomato Sauce
- TOTAL TIME: 45 MIN
- SERVINGS: 4
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large fresh red chile, minced
- 4 large plum tomatoes, chopped
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped tarragon
- 3/4 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1/4 cup instant polenta
- 1 1/2 pounds skinless cod or halibut fillets, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and chile and cook over moderately low heat until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook over moderate heat until thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and water and simmer for 2 minutes longer. Add the tarragon and season with salt.
- In a saucepan, cover the potatoes with water and bring to a boil. Boil over moderately high heat until tender, about 7 minutes. Drain well and lightly mash the potatoes with a fork.
- Spread the polenta in a pie plate. In a food processor, combine the fish, garlic, parsley, cilantro, salt, cumin, egg and crushed red pepper and pulse until the fish is coarsely chopped. Transfer to a bowl and fold in the potatoes. Form the mixture into twelve 2-inch cakes (1/2 inch thick); coat with the polenta.
- In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add half of the fish cakes and pan-fry over moderately high heat until golden brown and just cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter. Repeat with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and fish cakes, adjusting the heat if the cakes get too dark. Serve the fish cakes hot or at room temperature with the warm tomato sauce.
Full-bodied southern Italian white.