cookbook spotlight: Feeding a Family

recipe by Sarah Waldman | photos by Elizabeth Cecil

Feeding a Family

The minute Sarah Waldman’s new cookbook, Feeding a Family: A Real-Life Plan for Making Dinner Work arrived at our office, we knew this was going to be a book we’d want to keep close by all year long. 

Broken out by season, the cookbook offers a fresh take on easy, approachable recipes for every member of the family. We’ve already got our eyes on the slurpy noodle bowls, oven-baked falafel, rhubarb sundaes and of course the New England-style cod cakes (recipe follows), just to name a few. Feeding a Family also offers tips and suggestions for getting the whole family involved in mealtime, as well as reminds us that it’s not just about the meal, but the time spent around the table that’s important.

With stunning photographs captured by Elizabeth Cecil of life on Martha's Vineyard, Sarah’s adorable boys, and the recipes themselves, this is a book to curl up with for awhile and get inspired. Learn more at

cod cakes with poached eggs  

cod cakes with poached eggs  

Our kids love New England clam chowder, but it’s a challenge to hook them on other seafood dinners (you ironic island kids, you). These cakes are my best attempt at getting some fish into our boys—sometimes it succeeds, and other times one of them ends up eating a couple of eggs for dinner. Such is life. I like my cod cake with a runny poached egg, but sunny side–up or scrambled eggs are just as good. A quick arugula salad pairs well with this rich dish (I just toss baby arugula with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper). 

  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves  
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh chives  
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard  
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise  
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt  
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest  
  • 1 large Yukon gold potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 2 cups)  
  • 1 pound filleted codfish  
  • 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs  
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil  
  • Splash of white vinegar  
  • 4 large eggs  
  • Lemon wedges, for serving 
  1. In a medium bowl, combine thyme, chives, mustard, mayonnaise, salt, and orange zest. Stir everything to combine.
  2. Place cubed potato in a large, high-sided skillet and cover with water. Bring water to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer the potatoes until tender, about 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove cooked potatoes from skillet and place them in a small bowl. Do not drain skillet. Mash potatoes with a fork and set them aside.
  3. Return skillet to stove over high heat, bring potato cooking water to a boil, and then carefully slide in cod fillets. Turn heat down to lowest setting, cover, and poach fish until just flaky and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Gently flake fish apart, then fold it into mashed potatoes. Add potato-cod mixture to mustard mixture and add in bread crumbs. Carefully fold everything to combine (you want to keep big flakes of fish).
  4. Heat olive oil in a large cast iron skillet set over medium heat. While it heats, use your hands to divide cod cake mixture into four large patties. Cook cakes in hot oil for 5-7 minutes per side or until crisp and golden.
  5. While cakes fry up, poach your eggs. Fill a pot with a few inches of water and add vinegar. Put the pot over medium-high heat and warm it until the water is just starting to bubble or simmer. This is temperature you want to stick with. Crack first egg into a small bowl or ramekin. Gently slide egg into hot water and let it cook for 3-4 minutes. Remove egg with a slotted spoon and place it directly onto a kitchen towel to absorb any excess water. Repeat this process with rest of eggs. You can cook more than one egg at a time if your pot is large enough.
  6. Place a poached egg on top of each cod cake and serve immediately with lemon wedges and a quick arugula salad (see note in the recipe’s introduction).

Serves 4.


Feeding a Family by Sarah Waldman, © 2016 by Sarah Waldman. Photographs by Elizabeth Cecil. Reprinted by arrangement with Roost Books, an imprint of Shambhala Publications, Inc. Boulder, CO.

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