This very simple dish was a staple on many Newfoundland kitchen tables for who knows how long; probably hundreds of years, given that the simple ingredients were readily available from the land and the sea. I remember my grandmothers cooking them in large cast iron skillets in the rendered fat from making scrunchions. For our non-native readers, scrunchions are a very traditional accompaniment to several traditional Newfoundland meals and are simply cured fat back pork which is diced in small cubes and then fried until crispy to render out most of the fat.
It does my heart good to know that our food culture is still being kept alive in the classroom. You did a great job on these, Laura; I think they look delicious. If your Social Studies teacher doesn't give you an A on this one, tell him to take it up with me! ;)
1 ½ pounds salt cod
Soak the salt cod in cold water overnight. Simmer the salt cod in boiling water for about 15 minutes. Drain the water off the fish and allow the fish to cool to almost room temperature.
When the fish is cool, flake it apart with a fork into small pieces.
In a sauté pan, melt over medium heat
¼ cup butter
1 small chopped onion
Cook until the onions are softened.
Add the fish, cooked onions and butter to
6 cups mashed potato
1 beaten egg
2 tbsp dried savoury (optional)
1/2 tsp black pepper
Mix together until well combined, then form into small cakes and roll in flour.
Fry the fish cakes in canola oil over medium heat until golden brown on both sides.
Serve with scrunchions if desired.