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Salt Cod Diary


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#121 Heartsurgeon

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 10:01 AM

highly recommend reading one or both of the following books:

Salt: A World History
Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World
both by Mark Kurlansky

you impression of salt cod as a food product will forever be changed.
if your a foodie, you owe it to yourself to read one of these books.
don't expect recipes however!

#122 LindaK

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 04:08 AM

Fall weather has arrived in New England, which might explain the serious craving for salt cod I’ve had recently. Last night, I made a gratin de morue from Patricia Wells’ Bistro Cooking—salt cod between layers of potatoes cooked in herb-infused milk, all enriched with egg yolk and crème fraiche, plus a little garlic. Oh my. Worth it alone for the aroma that fills the kitchen as it cooks.

DSCF1232.JPG

When making a small recipe, I often use these individual gratin dishes. Practical and pretty.

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Bon appetit!


 


#123 blue_dolphin

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 07:30 PM

LindaK, your photos and description make that warming fare appealing even on today's 100 deg day!
Can't remember if I've posted this here before but salt cod formed the base of my most hated childhood meal: salt cod in a cream sauce, served over boiled potatoes - white on white on white- with canned peas the only contrast!
I've read along and been tempted by various recipes but this one comes full circle for me wth the potatoes and cream sauce - what an elevation of my old memories! It's way too hot at the moment but this is absolutely going on the list for my mom's next visit.

#124 janeer

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 09:28 PM

100F here today too but that looks gorgeous almost makes me miss winter, Linda

#125 LindaK

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 03:48 AM

If it was 100F here I would not have made this, that’s for sure.

Blue Dolphin, I’m with you on the “most hated childhood meal.” I remember being served something like that as a kid (without the peas) and it was awful. Overcooked salt cod gets tough and if it sits around too long the cream sauce would become fishy-tasting. Not good.

Which is why, if I have any tips for a simple dish like this, they’d be all about not overcooking the fish or letting it dry out. Since the salt cod is pre-cooked before being added to the gratin, I bring it to a simmer then immediately remove it from the heat, letting it sit for about 5 minutes before draining it and then pulling it into large flakes. It should be barely cooked. It also helps that this particular recipe pre-cooks the potatoes, which helps keep the gratin moist and minimizes oven time.

Other members have recommended salt cod gratins, maybe they have some tips too.


 


#126 johnnyd

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 09:10 AM

Came accross salt pollack at the fishmarket today. $4.59/lb

With salt cod ten bucks and over a pound, I consider it my duty to try salt cod recipes like bolinhas de bacalhau with this new stuff and see what happens
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#127 LindaK

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 08:09 PM

It has been a while since I've made anything interesting enough to post here. Johnnyd, if you've done your duty and tried out the salt pollack, please report.

This one is a confluence of cravings: salt cod, pasta, and the desire to spend an afternoon in the kitchen with loud music. After much cookbook browsing and foraging in the refrigerator, the happy result was: green ravioli with salt cod.

A base of spinach pasta topped with heaping teaspoons of filling—flaked salt cod and a soffrito of onion, celery, carrot w/ parsley. A bit of mashed potato and beaten egg to bind.

IMG_0277.JPG


Filled ravioli, drying. Mine are never uniform in size. But at least that proves that they’re homemade!

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How to serve them? I didn’t want tomato or cheese, and I didn’t want a trip to the market. My completely bizarre solution turned out to be inspired: a light cream sauce with slivers of preserved lemon and black olives, chiffonade of fresh basil. I don’t know how to explain it, but it was delicious and I’d make it again with any pasta.

IMG_0292.JPG


 


#128 huiray

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 08:58 AM

Interesting thread.

Regarding this -

Good lord, here's a new one--salt cod in Chinese food? From Weinoo's review of Mission Chinese Food - 154 Orchard St.

...the salt-cod fried rice, salty from the baccalà and sweet from the lap cheong. I’m sorry local take-out joint – your fried rice ain’t gonna cut it any more.

Who cares if it's traditional, it's on the list for my next visit to NYC.

I wonder if it is truly salt cod that Mission Chinese used... I've never had that dish at Mission Chinese but am aware that their menu says "Salt Cod Fried Rice" and has the additional description of "Slow cooked mackerel (???), Chinese sausage, lettuce, egg". (see here for the NYC menu)

There are many variations on Chinese/South China salted fish, many sold whole (smaller fishes) or in larger chunks (larger fish) etc. Salted fish fried rice (using the Chinese-type salt fish) is not really a new dish. :-) I imagine salt cod (as produced in and found in the West) could be a substitute for the salted fish in various "Chinese cuisine" dishes. I wonder how simple "homestyle" dishes like steamed pork-patty-with-salted-fish ["鹹魚蒸豬肉"] or steamed tofu-chopped-with-fish-paste ["老少平安"] (sometimes with pork mixed in) would come out like using salt cod instead...probably pretty similar. The question would be how to pretreat the salt cod (Length of soaking? Any soaking? Just a rinse? How much to use?).

#129 Syzygies

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 09:40 AM

A highlight of my first trip to Norway was visiting Kristiansund, which is Mecca for salt cod enthusiasts. One sees the stone hills where the cod was put out to dry.

http://www.nordmore....back=1&MId2=259
http://www.slowfood....asso?-id_pg=211
http://forums.egulle...53#entry1647053

The sea trade brought home wives; even today one sees more beautiful black haired women here than anywhere else in Norway. I later met a woman at a conference who looked like Penélope Cruz but wore those odd Scandinavian cargo-pant bell bottoms, and I took a wild guess that she was from Kristiansund. Yes.
Per la strada incontro un passero che disse "Fratello cane, perche sei cosi triste?"
Ripose il cane: "Ho fame e non ho nulla da mangiare."

#130 Syzygies

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 09:49 AM

I've been wondering about speeding and safeguarding the soaking process for salt cod or stockfish, using sous vide temperature control. Use a temperature that pasteurizes, without significant cooking? Change the water a few times, perhaps. Has anyone tried this? Stockfish in particular needs many days, best with running water, and I've lost every batch I've tried to soak at home, trying to recreate the defining dish of Nice, France. (One can buy stockfish presoaked on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx.)
Per la strada incontro un passero che disse "Fratello cane, perche sei cosi triste?"
Ripose il cane: "Ho fame e non ho nulla da mangiare."

#131 LindaK

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 06:42 AM

Interesting thread.

Regarding this -


Good lord, here's a new one--salt cod in Chinese food? From Weinoo's review of Mission Chinese Food - 154 Orchard St.

...the salt-cod fried rice, salty from the baccalà and sweet from the lap cheong. I’m sorry local take-out joint – your fried rice ain’t gonna cut it any more.

Who cares if it's traditional, it's on the list for my next visit to NYC.

I wonder if it is truly salt cod that Mission Chinese used... I've never had that dish at Mission Chinese but am aware that their menu says "Salt Cod Fried Rice" and has the additional description of "Slow cooked mackerel (???), Chinese sausage, lettuce, egg". (see here for the NYC menu)

There are many variations on Chinese/South China salted fish, many sold whole (smaller fishes) or in larger chunks (larger fish) etc. Salted fish fried rice (using the Chinese-type salt fish) is not really a new dish. :-) I imagine salt cod (as produced in and found in the West) could be a substitute for the salted fish in various "Chinese cuisine" dishes. I wonder how simple "homestyle" dishes like steamed pork-patty-with-salted-fish ["鹹魚蒸豬肉"] or steamed tofu-chopped-with-fish-paste ["老少平安"] (sometimes with pork mixed in) would come out like using salt cod instead...probably pretty similar. The question would be how to pretreat the salt cod (Length of soaking? Any soaking? Just a rinse? How much to use?).


Interesting. One of our members posted a pictorial for Salted Fish and Chicken Fried Rice and you can see that the salted fish is indeed dark, like mackerel. It's chopped and added early in the stir fry, but no mention of soaking. I don't know if chinese salted fish is preserved by the same method as salt cod, but I can't imagine so, if it's edible after such a brief cook time without a prior soak. The only recipes I've found so far that uses unsoaked salt cod require either a brief simmer or time under the broiler to remove some salt and soften the fish a bit.


I've been wondering about speeding and safeguarding the soaking process for salt cod or stockfish, using sous vide temperature control. Use a temperature that pasteurizes, without significant cooking? Change the water a few times, perhaps. Has anyone tried this? Stockfish in particular needs many days, best with running water, and I've lost every batch I've tried to soak at home, trying to recreate the defining dish of Nice, France. (One can buy stockfish presoaked on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx.)


Maybe someone who's proficent at SV cooking has some insight here, or you may want to ask in the sous vide topic. Your question made me wonder about the other extreme, that being pressure cooking. Salt cod needs to be cooked gently, lest it turn into a tough, cottony mess. But perhaps a brief time under low pressure would speed up the de-salting as well as cook the fish. I think I'll need to try this. Unfortunately, I need to order a replacement part for my broken pressure cooker, so it will have to wait.

Thanks for the travel trip about Kristiansund. If I make it to Norway, it sounds fascinating.


 


#132 huiray

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 09:45 AM


Interesting thread.

Regarding this -


Good lord, here's a new one--salt cod in Chinese food? From Weinoo's review of Mission Chinese Food - 154 Orchard St.

...the salt-cod fried rice, salty from the baccalà and sweet from the lap cheong. I’m sorry local take-out joint – your fried rice ain’t gonna cut it any more.

Who cares if it's traditional, it's on the list for my next visit to NYC.

I wonder if it is truly salt cod that Mission Chinese used... I've never had that dish at Mission Chinese but am aware that their menu says "Salt Cod Fried Rice" and has the additional description of "Slow cooked mackerel (???), Chinese sausage, lettuce, egg". (see here for the NYC menu)

There are many variations on Chinese/South China salted fish, many sold whole (smaller fishes) or in larger chunks (larger fish) etc. Salted fish fried rice (using the Chinese-type salt fish) is not really a new dish. :-) I imagine salt cod (as produced in and found in the West) could be a substitute for the salted fish in various "Chinese cuisine" dishes. I wonder how simple "homestyle" dishes like steamed pork-patty-with-salted-fish ["鹹魚蒸豬肉"] or steamed tofu-chopped-with-fish-paste ["老少平安"] (sometimes with pork mixed in) would come out like using salt cod instead...probably pretty similar. The question would be how to pretreat the salt cod (Length of soaking? Any soaking? Just a rinse? How much to use?).


Interesting. One of our members posted a pictorial for Salted Fish and Chicken Fried Rice and you can see that the salted fish is indeed dark, like mackerel. It's chopped and added early in the stir fry, but no mention of soaking. I don't know if chinese salted fish is preserved by the same method as salt cod, but I can't imagine so, if it's edible after such a brief cook time without a prior soak. The only recipes I've found so far that uses unsoaked salt cod require either a brief simmer or time under the broiler to remove some salt and soften the fish a bit.
......


Linda, nice pictorial tutorial you linked to there. Indeed further on in that thread the OP says what kind of salted fish he used and it was a "more modern" cured-type mackerel seemingly sort-of held in a somewhat oily environment (sealed pack). I don't think the salted fish is soaked. The fish was used "as is" (maybe a brief rinse) in the tutorial, I believe.

There was also additional discussion about "salted fish" in the later part of the thread which partly answers your other questions.

Some other non-exhaustive/semi-random links of interest:
http://basilkitchen....dFishFriedRice/
http://en.wikipedia....ved_ingredients
http://www.gourmettr...ean_sprouts.htm
http://www.cantonese...12,58572,page=2
http://www.chinese-f...25-salted-fish/
http://zh.wikipedia........i/鹹

Edited by huiray, 20 January 2013 - 09:52 AM.


#133 LindaK

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 06:21 AM

All the snow in the northeast US has put me in a salt cod mood and fill-the-freezer mode.  So I made a batch of Rick Bayless's bacalao filling that he uses to stuff roasted chiles rellenos (posted earlier here) and put half in the freezer and used the rest to make a small batch of empanadas.  Oh, I left out the potatoes.

 

DSCF1317.JPG

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It's a very good combination, the flavorful filling with garlic, chiles, tomato, cod, and olives is a nice contrast to the rich dough.  Mine was a little crumbly but delicious nonetheless.

 

Note to anyone considering making the Bayless recipe: it's great except for the cooking time, which is ridiculously long--more than an hour.  Since I had lots of the filling, I did a small experiment and cooked some for the recommended cooking time. As I expected, the salt cod had the look and texture of cotton balls.  Inedible.  Salt cod is like any fish in that it's easy to overcook.  I pulled the big batch off the heat after about 20 minutes and let it sit a while for the flavors to meld.

 

 



 


#134 basquecook

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 08:17 AM

beautiful stuff Linda.  That spinach pasta is on my list of things to cook.  

 

Here is a salt cod brandade gratin, with a fennel and parsley salad.  I later found out that i made  Brandade de Morue au Gratin.  

 

Who knew I was so fancy. 

 

 

 

6508532265_a87fea30a6.jpg


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#135 janeer

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 07:40 PM

All the snow in the northeast US has put me in a salt cod mood and fill-the-freezer mode.  So I made a batch of Rick Bayless's bacalao filling that he uses to stuff roasted chiles rellenos (posted earlier here) and put half in the freezer and used the rest to make a small batch of empanadas.  Oh, I left out the potatoes.
 
attachicon.gifDSCF1317.JPG
attachicon.gifDSCF1322.JPG
 
It's a very good combination, the flavorful filling with garlic, chiles, tomato, cod, and olives is a nice contrast to the rich dough.  Mine was a little crumbly but delicious nonetheless.
 
Note to anyone considering making the Bayless recipe: it's great except for the cooking time, which is ridiculously long--more than an hour.  Since I had lots of the filling, I did a small experiment and cooked some for the recommended cooking time. As I expected, the salt cod had the look and texture of cotton balls.  Inedible.  Salt cod is like any fish in that it's easy to overcook.  I pulled the big batch off the heat after about 20 minutes and let it sit a while for the flavors to meld.

Now that is a good idea, LindaK, putting salt cod in pastry. makes me wonder if a salt cod pie (like a chicken pie) would be nice, with salt cod, potatoes, veggies, maybe some chorizo...

Brandade looks yummy too, basquecook. I adore it.

Edited by janeer, 18 February 2013 - 07:45 PM.


#136 LindaK

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 06:01 AM

Basquecook, that's a lovely gratin and pretty plating too,  I like that salad idea, it would certainly hold up against the gratin.

 

janeer, that's a genius combination that I don't recall seeing before.  Out of curiousity, I just did a quick search on Eatyourbooks to see if "salt cod" and "chorizo" appeared together in a recipe. I found four: one a salad and the other three for "salt cod and beans (buchos de bacalhau)."  Interestingly, the latter are in cookbooks by British authors, Fergus Henderson or the "Two Fat Ladies" of BBC cookery show fame.  This sounds like a must try.  Your idea of a pie sounds like a perfect dish too, maybe with a mashed potato top like a shepherd's pie.

 

 

 



 


#137 huiray

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 06:21 AM

Looks like --> this diner <-- didn't care about salted fish needing to be made into a gratin or empanadas or pies or whatever... :smile:



#138 Nancy in Pátzcuaro

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 08:33 AM

Johnnyd, I'd be interested in your impression of the salt pollock. A friend of ours, I believe, developed that idea in Alaska a few years ago when cod availability became uncertain. She subsequently sold her company, but before that she had a strong market in Europe, particularly in Spain and Portugal.

 

I've never had salt pollock, but I really love salt cod. It shows up here in México every year around Christmas and I make sure to lay in a good supply to use during the rest of the year. (I need to change my user name, since I no longer live in Colorado.)

 

Thanks--N.


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#139 Franci

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 08:44 AM

Budelline di stocco. Cod tripe. These have been soaked. In Liguria at the market I was able to find them already soaked.

budelline di stocco 00001.JPG budelline di stocco 00002.JPG

I cooked them very simply with a little bit of onion, stock, bay leaf and saffron. Roasted peppers at the end. The sauce becomes very gelatinous.

#140 GlorifiedRice

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 10:52 AM

So glad you made the Ackee and Saltfish I need to make it again after I finish South Beach, with a better quality piece of salt cod


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#141 LindaK

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 06:56 PM

Salt cod tripe?  I had no idea such a thing existed, much less how to cook it.  Franci, that looks good.  What did you think of the finished dish?

 

I did a bit of googling to correct my woeful ignorance of this product and had to laugh.  Top search result was this old eG topic:  Salt cod tripe

 

It seems that this is hard to find. I'll keep watch for it, now that I know it's out there, but must admit I'm not very optimistic about finding it in the U.S. If anyone knows how to order it, please share.

 

 

 



 


#142 Franci

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 06:51 AM

Franci, that looks good.  What did you think of the finished dish?

Thanks, Linda. I never had cod tripe before so I'm not 100% I cooked it right. The sauce was very nice and rich (like when you cook pork rind), the tripe was soft and maybe I would have liked a little more bite, not sure if it's supposed to be like that or I simply cooked it too long (one hour total). Would I cook it again? Yes.
My husband didn't realized it was cod tripe, he thought it was an eggplant sauce!

#143 LindaK

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 08:04 AM

Last weekend I received a belated Christmas gift, the cookbook In the Hands of a Chef by local chef Jody Adams.  I’m always surprised to find recipes for salt cod in contemporary cookbooks so was delighted to see several here. Even better that most were new ideas and ingredient combinations that I couldn’t wait to try.  First up, her fritter recipe: Salt Cod, Artichoke, and Celery Root Fritters.

 

These are a lovely combination of flavor and texture.  Chunks of salt cod, slivers of artichoke heart, finely julienned celery root, fresh parsley, barely bound together by a light beer batter. Unlike fritters made with a firmer potato base, these end up much more free-form in shape and every fritter gives you tender and crispy, sweet and savory bites.  Fritters don’t make for pretty pictures but here they are:

 

DSCF1338.JPG

 

 

These were really easy to make, especially since I cheated with frozen artichoke hearts.  Maybe because they are mostly salt cod and vegetables, they felt lighter and more refined than the usual, more like fritto misto than fritter.  Adams recommended serving them with your hottest hot sauce, which I did because I love salt cod with chiles. In this case, though, I preferred just a squeeze of lemon.  Salt cod stands up well to the heat of chiles, but the artichokes and celery root did not.



 


#144 Franci

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 04:09 PM

Love the idea of these fritters!

#145 janeer

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 09:22 PM

beautiful fritters, LindaK; and I've always been a fan of Jody Adams.



#146 GlorifiedRice

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 12:04 PM

Okay I remade the Ackee and Saltfish with a proper piece of salt cod and Im ashamed I ate the entire frying pan full. It was so good!

I ate it with fried plantain...

 

So my recommendation (if it is worth anything) is, if you MUST buy a BAGGED saltfish, make sure its not in anyway WET inside that bag

or buy some REAL salt cod thats loose in a box


Wawa Sizzli FTW!

#147 LindaK

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 02:19 PM

Salt cod in North Carolina!

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1365110065.450451.jpg

Duck egg and bacalhau omelette at Six Plates wine bar in Durham, NC


 


#148 bethesdabakers

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 07:45 AM

I'Ve really been enjoying this thread and finally have something to bring to the feast. By and large, buying salt cod means an 80 mile trip to Liverpool so it remains something of a treat. By and large, I like accra de morue so much that that's what I cook. And like pizza, photographs are difficult to take because the food doesn't get time to stand around posing.

 

Was doing a tapas meal for friends, had salt cod in the fridge (the fresh salted rather than the dried board variety) found a recipe, Soldatitos de Pavia, in Pennelope Casas book "Tapas". After soaking, the fillets are skinned, dried and placed in an interesting little marinade - juice of half a lemon, couple of thin slices of onion, a clove of garlic crushed, chopped parsley and a few strands of saffron.

 

Make a batter - 3 quarters of a cup of flour, teaspoon & a half of baking powder, bit of salt, quarter cup of milk + the same of water + 3 tablespoons veg oil. I found this a bit too thick and dilluted it a little.

 

Scrape off the marinade, cut the fillets into fingers, flour, dip in the batter and deep fry until golden.

 

Very interesting flavour and just fabuloso.

 

Mick


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#149 LindaK

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 07:14 PM

Mick, I like the sound of that marinade. Can you taste the saffron, or is it just for color?  I hope your friends enjoyed it, it sounds delicious. Fish fingers for adults!

 



 


#150 bethesdabakers

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 11:07 PM

Hi Linda

The marinade had an unusual and beguiling flavour but because it was very spare it was quite patchy. I thought that next time I made it I would increase the lemon juice a little and maybe soak the saffron in it for a while prior to marinating the fish. The flavour of the saffron came and went in a teasing sort of way.

Will definitely be making it again.

Mick
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