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Salt Cod -- how to use it, cook with it?


sabg
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I love cod cakes.

However a favorite recipe of my husband's is the Jamaican national dish - Ackee & Saltfish (Codfish).

Basically it's dried cod soaked and boiled to get rid of the excess salt. Then you flake & saute the cod with tomato, hot pepper (authentic recipes call for scotch bonnet, but I can't take the heat. So I use a jalapeno), scallions, thyme, chopped onion, garlic. Then add a can of drained ackee (you can find canned ackees in West Indian neighborhoods), add a little salt & pepper and you're done.

Ackee is a fruit native to Jamaica, but it is not sweet tasting. The pulp resembles scrambled eggs in appearance and texture. But on its own, I find ackee fairly bland tasting.

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Another good way to cook it is to poach it in a good olive oil with robust herbs and garlic. Cod is good in a brandade, but I like retaining the flaky qualities of the fish. Brandade is for the leftovers, or mayby better, the belly and tail. Also, try poaching the jaw-muscles in a court boullion. And for the experimental, there i a tiny muscle attached to the fin right down from the head, pull the skin of and pickle it.

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  • 8 months later...

I've got two nice fillets of Salted Cod. One has been soaking for 36 hours and needs to be cooked soon. Been advised to coat it in olive oil, broil and add fresh garlic before plating. Any other thoughts, wouldn't mind trying a few variations, these fillets are huge.

Also any thoughts on sides. I've been told this is an acquired taste. Portuguese GF says roasted peppers and maybe boiled potatoes, maybe even a hard boiled egg.

Any suggestions would be appreciated and I have enough time to chase ingredients.

And while I'm at it any tricks to deboning these. Kinda hoping I can get away with a clean pull after broiling. Am I dreaming?

"And in the meantime, listen to your appetite and play with your food."

Alton Brown, Good Eats

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I'm partial to a classic brandade de morue which is a tasty dip really. Pretty simple list of ingredients (salt cod, garlic, cream, breadcrumbs) but I'm out and about without my recipe handy.

Good luck regardless, I've been trying to find some around my town for awhile with no luck.

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I'm partial to a classic brandade de morue which is a tasty dip really.  Pretty simple list of ingredients (salt cod, garlic, cream, breadcrumbs) but I'm out and about without my recipe handy. 

Good luck regardless, I've been trying to find some around my town for awhile with no luck.

The brandade de morue looks good to me, I was thinking find out what this stuff tastes like and then trying some sea food salads.

As far as obtaining salted cod you could look through this google search. We've come to the conclusion that the stuff sold local (Chicago) in the markets is definitely a salted fish it's just not a salted cod like it says on the label. Kinda funny you have to rely on friends over seas to get a fish probably caught off your own coast.

"And in the meantime, listen to your appetite and play with your food."

Alton Brown, Good Eats

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where i grew up it was salt cod cakes - resusitate the cod in multiple soakings of milk and water then rub vigorously in a linen tea towel to remove the bones. mix with egg, riced potatoes, minced onion then form into cakes. dredge in flour and saute.

course you also had the local cats clinging to the screen door when you were soaking the cod

Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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Wow this stuff has a kick. When I broiled it the olive oil caught fire, I thought was a nice touch.

Guess cakes are next up. Hmmn breakfast? Why not.

"And in the meantime, listen to your appetite and play with your food."

Alton Brown, Good Eats

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Been using real salt cod for many many years. It has always been, even after multiple soakings too salty to be palatable without using it as an ingrediant as mentioned in fish cakes, or my favorite, chowder.

Salt cod or fresh cod for that matter flakes so beautifully and holds together. Lightly smoked haddock on the other hand can be served as a fillet with a nice cream sauce.-Dick

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Been using real salt cod for many many years. It has always been, even after multiple soakings too salty to be palatable without using it as an ingrediant as mentioned in fish cakes, or my favorite, chowder.

Salt cod or fresh cod for that matter flakes so beautifully and holds together. Lightly smoked haddock on the other hand can be served as a fillet with a nice cream sauce.-Dick

This is from 60+years ago...my swiss/tyrolian grandmother made a flaked salt cod in a cream sauce over fresh made wide noodles...Still remember it. Been gonna make it for years , this discusssion may get me off the dime....

Bud

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The Venetians use it as a creamy spread, very delicious, on grilled polenta slices.

My grandmother used to flake it and put it in tomato sauce. Were I to do this, I'd make the sauce heavy on the black olives, too.

I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

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Like others, I use salt cod in a traditional Brandade, but after that recipe is done, I let the brandade cool and then add stiff mashed potato to make a salt cod/mashed potato cake. You can dip the cake in some beaten egg and dredge in panko crumbs and then fry it in oil and clarified butter until it gets nice and golden.

I use the salt cod cake as a base for seared/roasted fish like Halibut. It's rich just like that so I wouldn't serve it with a rich sauce, maybe something like a parsley oil.

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Find your local Italian community and ask them. Around here, in my old mountain mining town, the Italians would riot if they couldn't have bacala, at Christmas especially. I'm not Italian but I love the stuff--it's wonderfully chewy and savory. I always have some in the freezer. I even found it last year at our Wal-Mart, if you can believe that (sure surprised me). When I asked for it at our local Italian market they asked me how many fillets I wanted. I asked for 2, and they brought me fillets that looked more like long white planks. Next time I'll just ask for one. Who knew cod was so big?

Simplest way to do it is to soak it, cut it into large chunks, poach briefly and then smother with a good red sauce and pop into the oven. I also like it as a gratin--if you have a copy of Potager, from Georgeanne Brennan, the recipe is on pp. 92-93. This recipe is particularly good for using up the thin pieces and trimmings because you have to flake it anyway.

I'm more in favor of a 24-hour soak rather than longer because I find the salty quality--which I like--is lost with a longer soak. But, you know, different strokes--

And after you've asked your local Italians about salt cod, ask them about where they go to forage for mushrooms. If you're lucky they'll tell you.

N.

Formerly "Nancy in CO"

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Love, love, love salt cod. I grew up with New England codfish cakes, and later found nirvana in brandade.

But in the interest of new ideas, I found a delicious dish in a Portuguese restaurant that I've successfully replicated at home. Soak thick pieces of salt cod. Make a tomato-based sauce with sauteed garlic, red and green peppers, and onions (I add a dash of red pepper flakes for a bit of spice). Poach large chunks of salt cod in the sauce. Very easy and quick, esp. since you can/must prepare the elements in advance. I do the final poach in in a copper gratin pan, which makes for a lovely presentation.


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Wow thanks all. Really glad I stumbled on to this, I knew something was missing from my life. I should really find the drivers for my state of the art 1.3 mega pixel camera so I can show you some of this stuff.

"And in the meantime, listen to your appetite and play with your food."

Alton Brown, Good Eats

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  • 1 year later...

*Bump!*

I've never used salt cod/bacalhau before, and I'm hoping to get some pointers from the eGullet folks. What I'm looking for is a recipe for this particular Portuguese bacalhau dish consisting of bacalhau, sliced potatoes, sliced onions, and sliced hard boiled eggs all layered in a casserole and I think it was baked. I don't recall the name of the dish (just that it was so delicious!), but I'd love a good recipe and give it a go. Any suggestions?

I can get access to salt cod from Italian and Greek grocery stores here. Is there any significant difference between the Italian/Greek stuff from Portuguese salt cod?

Anything else I should know about preparing salt cod? Thanks! :smile:

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^^^ most probably Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá.

i like many (Portuguese) salt cod dishes but i think some of the nice ones are Bacalhau com Natas/with cream. and the simplest and most excellent Bacalhau Assado com Alhos/roast in oven with garlic.

bom appetit!

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For 500 years cod has been the most important food for Newfoundlanders. The cod fishery collapsed abruptly in the early 1990's and a moratorium was imposed to drastically reduce the level of harvesting and save the species. In 2004 cod fishing was banned outright. Now there's the 2008 Northern Cod Stewardship Fishery, so at least you can get some cod at the store -- fresh, frozen or salted.

Salt cod is stored in the fridge or freezer, and gets soaked for a day in cold water before using. I love the stuff and I'm glad to see a dedicated topic.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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I make chowder from salt cod

I cook it with greens and tomatoes

salt fish and ackees as mentioned above (canned ackees are in Island markets)

creamed salt fish on mashed potatoes

soak it slice it and make carpaccio with it

soak it and then batter and deep fry it

of course I make bacalao

I love salt cod

Edited by hummingbirdkiss (log)
why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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There is a product in my local fish market that looks like dried salt cod but it says "hake." It doesn't look like the hake I remember.
How big are the pieces?

Up here we get red hake and silver hake. The reds are bigger and more common, and available as long white fillets.

The silvers are sold whole like this one:

gallery_42214_6041_47731.jpg

Edited by Peter the eater (log)

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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I make chowder from salt cod

I cook it with greens and tomatoes

salt fish and ackees as mentioned above (canned ackees are in Island markets)

creamed salt fish on mashed potatoes

soak it slice it and make carpaccio with it

soak it and then batter and deep fry it

of course I make bacalao

I love salt cod

The carpaccio sounds intriguing! Do you use any dressing with it?

How do you make your bacalao?

I found an Emeril recipe on the Food Network website that sounds like the one I'm looking for and BonVivant mentioned (bacalhau a Gomes de Sa). I'm going to try that as soon as I get my hands on some salt cod!

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