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LindaK

Salt Cod Diary

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8 hours ago, Panaderia Canadiense said:

 

How did the soup go over?

The soup was a huge success, although I had to make so many changes to Fidelina's recipe that I'm not sure it still qualified as Fanesca. We just called it, "Soup in the Style of Fanesca"  :D

There were no leftovers of the soup although thankfully I had saved 2 of the 4 lbs of salt cod that I had acquired for the soup (salt cod is hard to find in this part of Florida - it was a 2 hour drive round-trip to purchase it!).

The second 2 lbs got turned into a childhood favorite, the cod cakes in the photo above. 

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20 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

Recipe?

Unfortunately I don't have an actual recipe. I just make cod cakes the way my mother made them when I was a child in New England.

After soaking  and briefly simmering the salt cod, you remove the skin and any bones and then break up the flesh into small pieces with your hands, using a very large bowl. 

(It is important never to boil the salt cod as it will cause it to become very tough. I usually bring it just barely to the boil and then turn off the heat and leave it on the burner for another 15 minutes.) 

To the large bowl (now full of flaked salt cod), add your favorite aromatics that have been finely diced and sauteed in olive oil -  I used red and green bell pepper and shallots. Then add just enough mashed potato and beaten egg to hold the entire concoction together. If you don't have mashed potato, you may use unseasoned bread crumbs, but left-over mashed potato is strongly preferred.  

For seasoning, I use only black, red and white pepper. I don't believe in adding any other seasonings as the salt cod flavor should predominate. If you have soaked and prepared your cod properly no additional salt should be needed.

At this point shape the well-blended mixture into patties with your hands, patting them firmly, and then refrigerate for at least an hour before pan-frying on both sides. 

We never had any sauce growing up but my spouse likes remoulade sauce with cod cakes. 

My favorite part is the following morning. Having a poached egg on top of a salt cod cake is heavenly! 

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9 hours ago, LindaK said:

@kbjesq those cod cakes look delicious.  I love the leftovers for breakfast.

 

For anyone who didn't follow the fabulous food blog by @Panaderia Canadiense you should treat yourself and read it through.  The "soup" she and kbjesq mention is Fansesca, a soup featuring salt cod that's an Easter tradition in Equador.  PanCan gave us a lovely history and tutorial of Fanesca in her blog: eG Foodblog: Panaderia Canadiense - Salt Cod, Squash, and Sweets: Semana Santa in the Sierra

 

PanCan, I have every intention of giving it a try when I have a free weekend.  I hope your friend Fidelina won't mind that it's not during Easter.

 

@LindaK Fidelina would be thrilled that you're cooking it, no matter the season!  She doesn't reserve Fanesca for Easter either - it pops up around squash time in the spring as well.

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Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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A photo of the tiny Brazilian market where I found salt cod (country of origin: Norway). The cod was $10.98/USD per pound. But there were a lot of bones, skin, and fins. In New England, I would buy filets. Much easier to use. 

 

Brazil market .jpg

20160325_151710.thumb.jpg.919f0c7a356b7d085f5956cec11260ca.jpg

20160325_152304.thumb.jpg.b00f6a1a8b3133197b24ca741acb9e67.jpg


Edited by kbjesq Fix Typo (log)
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On April 3, 2016 at 0:42 AM, JoNorvelleWalker said:

Hmm, it sounds like sous vide would be advantageous.

 

For cooking or desalinating?

 

I'm reading this thread with interest.  I picked up some salt cod from a Greek market today.   Not hard and dry.  The fillets are quite pliable but covered in salt 

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16 minutes ago, scubadoo97 said:

For cooking or desalinating?

 

I'm reading this thread with interest.  I picked up some salt cod from a Greek market today.   Not hard and dry.  The fillets are quite pliable but covered in salt 

 

I'm pretty sure I had in mind for cooking.  Not really certain what I was thinking at the time.  I buy salt cod occasionally but I never quite know what to do with it.  The local product here is hard and dry.

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The packaged fillets need to be de-salted for about 24 hr.  Way above somewhere Linda suggested tasting a bit raw to see if they're ready, with a slight salty taste.

The skateboard type may need 2 - 3 days soaking, with several changes of water.  I once paid a big price for a Gaspe board, soaked 2.5 days, forgot about it, and it was spoiled 2 or 3 days later when I got to it.  I have stayed with the pliable refrigerated fillets ever since.  

Anyone have recipes including the skin?  It is so gelatinous I hate to discard it.

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On 8/17/2016 at 11:52 PM, jayt90 said:

Anyone have recipes including the skin?  It is so gelatinous I hate to discard it.

 

I’m glad someone is cooking salt cod.  My supply is gone for now.

 

There is one salt cod recipe I know about that requires that you use fish with the skin: bacalao al pil pil.  Saute pieces of the salt cod in garlicy olive oil until the cod is cooked through and the natural gelatins have been released.  You then whisk the oil/gelatins together to create a creamy sauce. Top with some red chili.  It sounds simple but everything I read says it’s tricky.

 

I’ve found that the gelatins from the skin help keep the fish moist when poaching it for use in other recipes.  I especially like it when making brandade. Maybe it’s my imagination but I think you get a creamier brandade.

 

If you make pil pil I hope you’ll show your results. It’s one of the classic recipes I have yet to make.

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I'm surprised to hear about difficulties in finding salt cod.  In Ontario it is in many stores with a minority ethnic clientele: Portuguese, Italian, Caribbean, and transplanted Newfies or Maritimers.  That accounts for a lot of demographics here.  I wouldn't be surprised to find salt cod in Northern Alberta, where thousands of east coast workers migrate to the tar sands oil refineries.

 

I'll try pil pil soon, when I get salt cod with skin on.

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Soaked yesterday morning and did 3 water changes through the day.  This morning the soaking liquid was only mildly salty.   I'll do 2 water changes today and do a quick taste test of the flesh to make sure it's not still overly salty later today.  

 

My my plan is to improvise a recipe from Jose Andres using garbanzo beans in a garlicky paprika/saffron flavored sauce.  A tomato base would work nice too.  Maybe a combo

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Well my attempt at salt cod was worked rather well.  A day and a half of 3 water changes a day and there was some salt noted in the fish but it wasn't salty.   Over all I was was happy with the dish

 

garbanzos con bacalao

served with crusty bread drizzled with good olive oil 

 

 

image.jpeg

image.jpeg

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The flavor of this fish was not fishy at all.  My wife wasn't loving the texture because she was expecting it to be more like fresh fish and it was a bit firmer 

 

overall I'm real happy with this product. Again it was refrigerated and not dried out like some salt cod and was skinless for the most part .  I'll be back for more when I use the last fillet.  I'm planning on doing fish cakes next.  The firmer texture should work well in that dish 

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I like the looks of it,and the mating with saffron.

At its best, salt cod will have a slightly rank or forbidden flavor. From drying in the sun.

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16 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

I walked past the salt cod at the store today, looked at it wistfully, then went on my way.  I'd need more motivation.

It should respond well to sous vide, maybe 140 F for .5 hr.

Then add a sauce and a side like corn or smashed potatoes.

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5 hours ago, jayt90 said:

I like the looks of it,and the mating with saffron.

At its best, salt cod will have a slightly rank or forbidden flavor. From drying in the sun.

Glad this fish didn't posses those rank qualities or I'd be eating it solo

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