We gathered at Pierpoint restaurant in Fells Point to try Chef Nancy Longo’s take on the Baltimore Crab Corn Coddie. She took my work-in-progress to a new level, bringing her years of experience to the mixing bowl, refining the recipe and offering the new concoction as the Wednesday night special with French fries and coleslaw. All tables were arranged to form a large community setting in the middle of the dining room, and about 30 of us — devoted Pierpoint customers, longtime Friends of Nancy and happy Fells Point neighbors — took seats for the first official tasting a little after 7 pm.
When our meals appeared, I felt like a proud parent. Being the father of this invention, Nancy presented me with Pierpoint’s prestigious “Embrace your inner crab cake” patch for my apron and declared the Crab Corn Coddie worthy of her menu. It was no small thrill to see my recipe become a reality on dinner plates.
As I explained in a recent episode of the Roughly Speaking podcast with Nancy, I came up with this idea while trying to make crab cakes at home with imported crab meat that did not instill confidence. I decided to add fresh cod and corn, and the result was quite pleasing. Surprisingly, the crab flavor remained. The shards of poached cod looked like chunks of lump in the cake. The blistered corn kernels added texture. Nancy perfected this new dish, and I emphasize perfected because we thought the balance of flavors in the coddie could not have been better. Nancy calls the dish the “crabby corn cod cake.” Whatever you call it, you’ll find it on the menu as a dinner special at Pierpoint this weekend.
The recipe follows. Please, try this at home.
Baltimore Crab Corn Coddie
Ingredients: Two pounds fresh cod; one pound backfin crabmeat; one sleeve Ritz crackers, crumbled in the sleeve to a fine meal; one cup sweet corn; one egg; one cup of white wine; one lemon; one tablespoon strong table mustard; one tablespoon Old Bay seasoning; salt and pepper to taste.
Preparation, Phase I: In a medium-deep pan, in a bath of white wine, lemon juice and enough water to cover the cod filets, poach the fish for about 10-12 minutes. Strain out the cod and set aside and let cool in a bowl. In a small pan, over medium-high heat, add a little butter and oil, then blister the corn kernels for about 4-5 minutes. Set aside and let cool.
Preparation, Phase II: When ingredients are sufficiently cooled, put the crab meat in a mixing bowl and inspect for shells. Add the Ritz cracker meal. Scramble and add the egg. Break the cod into shards and add to the mix. Same with the corn. Add some lemon juice, Old Bay and the mustard. Refrigerate for one hour before forming the cakes and pan-frying or broiling. There you go!