Fish days are compulsory in our house at least once a week. I can’t say enough how lucky we are to live within walking distance from the docks where fishing boats arrive every morning with their freshly caught fish, shrimp, squid and octopus. Sadly, this is completely lost on my kids who for the most part will only eat fish in tiny amounts in exchange for a biscuit, some chocolate, or stickers.
So I had no choice but to do what any honest fish-loving mama would do– I repackaged their fish fillet into fish bites. And it worked!
Cod bites are both easy to make and contain enough fish and veggies to make for a nutritious meal. If cod is not available where you are, you can replace it with sole or any other type of fish fillet that works for you. (Recipe bonus: these fish bites are great to make ahead and freeze, and work great for finger food snacks and packed lunch!)
Wash your fish fillet and set aside. Meanwhile, throw 1 small carrot, 1 onion and a handful of celery leaves in a blender and pulse until they’re coarsely grated.
Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a pot and add your veggies. Simmer for a few minutes while stirring them. Slice up the cod fillet into 6 pieces and place into the pot. Simmer for 10 more minutes until the cod turns white. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mash the cod and veggies together, breaking up the cod with a fork. Add half of the breadcrumbs to the pot and stir.
By now you should have a sticky mixture that can be easily formed into balls or patties. If it is too dry add a little more olive oil or a splash of water. If it is too liquidy add some more breadcrumbs. Take small handfuls of the mixture and shape them into small bites.
Dip the bites in the egg, then into the remaining breadcrumbs and line them on a baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes on the convection setting in the oven and enjoy!
When I was done baking my cod bites I decided to push my luck even further and combined them with our number 2 least favorite food- Broccoli! Only this time I didn’t boil it… I went all out and roasted it with olive oil and garlic. And yes, the crunchy sweet broccoli disappeared off their plates within minutes as well!
Cod Bites with Roasted Broccoli Trees Recipe
Makes about 9 cod bites
Cod Bites Ingredients
2 cod fillets (about 400gr of fish fillet)
1 small carrot, peeled
handful of celery leaves
3 tbs olive oil
1/2 cup breadcrumbs or panko
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 180C/350F on convection setting. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper.
Wash cod fillets, cut each fillet in half and set aside.
Clean carrot, onion and celery leaves and place in a blender. Pulse until coarsely grated. Pour olive oil into pot and add the vegetables. Simmer on low heat for 2-3 minutes. Add the cod fillet pieces and simmer for 10 more minutes until the fish turns white.
Mash up fish with a fork and mix with the vegetables to create an even mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add half the breadcrumbs gradually until the mixture is sticky enough but not too dry.
Break the egg and place it into a shallow bowl. Place the remaining bread crumbs into another shallow bowl. Roll fish mixture into balls or bites about the size of your fist. Dip them into the egg first, then the remaining breadcrumbs.
Place cod bites onto baking tray. Bake 15-20 minutes until crust turns golden brown. Remove from tray and serve.
Roasted Broccoli Trees
Cut up one broccoli head into florets. Place florets in a plastic bag. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 crushed garlic cloves and 1 tsp of salt to the bag. Shake the florets around to coat them evenly.
Place florets on baking tray and bake at 215C/420F for 15 minutes or until broccoli is soft enough to be pierced with a fork and edges are golden brown.