At the request of her husband, Bill, Judy Heinekamp of Baltimore wrote in requesting the recipe for the classic Baltimore coddie, or codfish cake.
Barbra Rosenberg, also of Baltimore, sent in her "tried and true" recipe. She says that it brings back childhood memories of trips to the neighborhood drugstore for "coddies and a chocolate Coke."
Her recipe calls for salt cod, but she says that if that is not readily available, fresh or frozen (and defrosted) cod may be substituted. I tested the recipe as written, using the salt cod. It's a bit time-consuming, but I decided it was probably the best way to get an authentic coddie.
I soaked the fish overnight, changing the water several times, and then, as the instructions on the box the fish came in recommended, I rinsed it for 10 to 15 minutes under running water before boiling it.
I pan-fried the cakes and served them in the traditional way, at room temperature, on a saltine cracker topped with yellow mustard and then another cracker on top.
Theda Askew of Baltimore would like to find a recipe she had many years ago for Turkish beef stew. It had Middle Eastern spices; she thinks cardamom may have been one of them.
Patricia Borsuk from Linthicum Heights is looking for a recipe for "overnight" coffeecake. In this recipe the cake is prepared the night before, put in a 9-inch-by-13-inch pan, refrigerated and baked the next morning.
If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request, write to Julie Rothman, Recipe Finder, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. If you send more than one recipe, put each on a separate piece of paper or attachment with your name, address and daytime phone number. Names and addresses must accompany recipes to be published. Letters may be edited for clarity.
The nutrition analyses accompanying recipes in today's Taste section were calculated by registered dietitian Jodie Shield, except where noted.
Baltimore Coddies (Codfish Cakes)
Makes 12 cakes
1/4 pound salt cod
1 to 1 1/4 pounds potatoes, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons milk
1/4 cup saltine crackers (8), crushed
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
vegetable oil for frying
additional saltines (for serving)
yellow mustard (for serving)
Soak salt cod for 24 hours in a bowl of water, changing the water every 6 to 8 hours. Place cod in a pan and cover with fresh water. Bring to a boil. Drain. Cover with water again and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
Drain and break up with a fork; let cool. Boil potatoes until tender. Drain potatoes, mash (leaving a little lumpy) and add the milk; cool. In a large bowl, combine the cod, mashed potatoes, crushed saltines, eggs and pepper.
Roll into palm-sized balls and flatten slightly. Fry in 1/4 inch of hot vegetable oil. Brown coddies on each side and drain on paper towels. Replace diminished oil between batches.
Let cool to room temperature. To serve: Place coddie on a saltine cracker, top with yellow mustard and place another saltine on top to make a sandwich.
Per cake: 119 calories, 8 grams protein, 6 grams fat, 1gram saturated fat, 8 grams carbohydrate, 1 gram fiber, 50 milligrams cholesterol, 700 milligrams sodium