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Bacalao


Daniel
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Wash it well, then treat as fresh cod.

Ther are several cuisines that feature salt cod: Portugeuse, Southern France, Scandinavia, and West Indian, since it was used as cheap protein to feed the slaves.

Make fish cakes or

Make brandade http://www.ochef.com/705.htm (traditionally truffled for this time of year) and my favourite

- poach, then whizz with olive oil (about 2 cups) like making mayonnaise. Add milk or cream, and optionally potato puree, garlic, truffles/truffel oil. Spread on toast.

Make salt cod with ackee (breadfruit) if youa re near a west indian supplier, otherwise use scrambled eggs

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Thats a great idea... I saw where Fergus Henderson adds a poached egg on top of with an eight minute boiled egg as an app..

Truffles sounds like an awesome idea too..

I completely forgot that it was served for breakfast! Now you have sent me on a search for ackee too.. And what are those fry breads called..Festival or Royale Bread.. I think this weekend calls for a Jamaican Breakfast..

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Bacalao a la Vizcaina.... my mom's favorite. Traditional spanish dish. Basically, poaching the salt cod in a tomato, bell pepper stew. Good stuff.

This is the first recipe I found online. I'm sure you can do much better, but it should give you the basic concept of it.

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Thank you for the recipe..

Being that its so cold out, I decided to go with something easy and which I had all the ingredients.. I poached the cod. Placed it on a bed of sliced potatoes.. Then covered in a mixture of lime juice, white wine,canned tomato puree, olive oil, garlic,capers,onions and green peppers.. Baking till the taters are done.. Hope its good..

gallery_15057_2187_9162.jpg

As I am looking at this picture I wish it was like something more like jackals idea..If this was in like a milky floury and tater gratin.. Maybe a bitter green.. Would it be heresy to add cheese and get rid of the floury roux? Maybe bread crumbs on top...

Edited by Daniel (log)
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It very versatile. You can do anything you'd do with fresh fish. Different flavour and texture, of course.

Sound like you are making a version of Jansen's temptation (potato gratin, originally with herring)

brandade is remarkable since the fish acts as an emulsifying agent, like egg yolk in mayonnaise, and it will adsorb a similar amount of olive oil

You can make the left-overs, if any, into fish cakes

Edited by jackal10 (log)
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Janssons Frestele (Janssons Temptation)

Eric Jansson was a 19th century Swedish religious reformer famed for his asceticism..until one day...

Its basically potato dauphinois with anchovy or herring.

No cheese in my version, just milk or cream, but some add cheese.

http://www.tine.no/intjarlmain/35535/

Edited by jackal10 (log)
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Yes, you must do brandade de morue, I love the stuff.

I also love bunelos de bacalao (cod-potato fritters). You could probably use leftover brandade to make fritters, I think the key to lightness is to beat the egg whites for the fritters.

Check out Portuguese recipes, I have had some nice salt cod at the restaurant Alfama.

Also, the Portuguese recipes on Leite's Culinaria have lots of salt cod recipes.

Looking forward to more!

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I saw a method once where big hunks of de-salted cod are fried (skin side down) in lots of olive oil. After cooking, the dish is left to cool a little. Then the whole pan is swirled around so that the gelatin in the fish skin emulsifies with the olive oil. It turned into a beautiful, golden, thick sauce.

Then a red pepper sauce (picarade?) is spooned on top and the whole thing is swirled around some more to incorporate.

Does this sound familiar... and does anyone know what this dish is called?

raquel

I've seen things you people wouldn't believe -Roy Batty

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I saw a method once where big hunks of de-salted cod are fried (skin side down) in lots of olive oil.  After cooking, the dish is left to cool a little.  Then the whole pan is swirled around so that the gelatin in the fish skin emulsifies with the olive oil.  It turned into a beautiful, golden, thick sauce.

Then a red pepper sauce (picarade?) is spooned on top and the whole thing is swirled around some more to incorporate.

Does this sound familiar... and does anyone know what this dish is called?

It's called a-pil-pil. This is an excellent, classic method for salt cod.

I also like Brandade de Morue and Salt Cod cakes, which are also classic. Personally, I prefer recipes that do not include potato (ironic given my New England heritage) because I like the creamy consistency and like to have the focus be on the salt cod and garlic flavors.

If you really want to go way out on a Brandade, there is also one from Nimes that, from my recollection, includes everything but the kitchen sink.

There are about 10 salt cod recipes in Portuguese Home Cooking by Ana Patuleia Ortins. I have tried several and they are very good.

Edited by mikeycook (log)

"If the divine creator has taken pains to give us delicious and exquisite things to eat, the least we can do is prepare them well and serve them with ceremony."

~ Fernand Point

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I saw a method once where big hunks of de-salted cod are fried (skin side down) in lots of olive oil.  After cooking, the dish is left to cool a little.  Then the whole pan is swirled around so that the gelatin in the fish skin emulsifies with the olive oil.  It turned into a beautiful, golden, thick sauce.

Then a red pepper sauce (picarade?) is spooned on top and the whole thing is swirled around some more to incorporate.

Does this sound familiar... and does anyone know what this dish is called?

Indeed this is bacalao al pil-pil, a classic Basque dish.

However, if I'm not mistaken, the bacalao is not fried but confited (the oil is kept at a temperature of around 70-80C), and usually you throw in some finely sliced garlic and guindilla while the oil is warming, and you get it out before it burns. You then use this garlic to garnish the dish.

We''ve opened Pazzta 920, a fresh pasta stall in the Boqueria Market. follow the thread here.

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Good things to do with salt cod:

croquettes (with potato)

brandade (better without potato I'd say, albeit more expensive)

any combination with chickpeas, such as chickpea gnocchi with salt cod sauce, salt cod quenelles with chickpea sauce

good herbs to get involved in this endeavour: rosemary, bay, parsley

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I saw a method once where big hunks of de-salted cod are fried (skin side down) in lots of olive oil.  After cooking, the dish is left to cool a little.  Then the whole pan is swirled around so that the gelatin in the fish skin emulsifies with the olive oil.  It turned into a beautiful, golden, thick sauce.

Then a red pepper sauce (picarade?) is spooned on top and the whole thing is swirled around some more to incorporate.

Does this sound familiar... and does anyone know what this dish is called?

Indeed this is bacalao al pil-pil, a classic Basque dish.

However, if I'm not mistaken, the bacalao is not fried but confited (the oil is kept at a temperature of around 70-80C), and usually you throw in some finely sliced garlic and guindilla while the oil is warming, and you get it out before it burns. You then use this garlic to garnish the dish.

That's right. The recipe I have (from Paula Wolfert's Cooking of Southwest France) says to cook the fish and oil over low heat for 30 minutes. Then raise it nearly to a boil near the end when you add the hot pepper and parsley.

Actually, I am so glad you posted this because I was looking for a final seafood dish for Christmas dinner (doing a small plates-type meal) and Bacalao a-pil-pil is the perfect dish to round things out. I can also get very good salt cod fillets from the local Shop-Rte (not sure why other than a good-sized italian population.)

Edited by mikeycook (log)

"If the divine creator has taken pains to give us delicious and exquisite things to eat, the least we can do is prepare them well and serve them with ceremony."

~ Fernand Point

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Indeed this is bacalao al pil-pil, a classic Basque dish.

However, if I'm not mistaken, the bacalao is not fried but confited (the oil is kept at a temperature of around 70-80C), and usually you throw in some finely sliced garlic and guindilla while the oil is warming, and you get it out before it burns. You then use this garlic to garnish the dish.

That's right. The recipe I have (from Paula Wolfert's Cooking of Southwest France) says to cook the fish and oil over low heat for 30 minutes. Then raise it nearly to a boil near the end when you add the hot pepper and parsley.

Actually, I am so glad you posted this because I was looking for a final seafood dish for Christmas dinner (doing a small plates-type meal) and Bacalao a-pil-pil is the perfect dish to round things out. I can also get very good salt cod fillets from the local Shop-Rte (not sure why other than a good-sized italian population.)

I find 30 minutes to be way too long for a delicate fish like cod. A good indication to stop cooking is when the meat "flakes" of the cod start separating. For me, it is usually 8 to 10 minutes (off the top of my head). Since you'll be leaving it covered for a while to allow the juices with the gellatin to come out, residual heat will finish cooking the bacalao.

We''ve opened Pazzta 920, a fresh pasta stall in the Boqueria Market. follow the thread here.

My blog, the Adventures of A Silly Disciple.

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Thank you M & SD for your informative posts. I've been eyeing some salt cod of late and want to try out this Bacalao al pil-pil dish.

Also, I'll be traveling to San Sebastian in a few months and am looking forward to the different variations on salt cod in that Basque region.

raquel

I've seen things you people wouldn't believe -Roy Batty

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Daniel, that looked great. I've been a bit averse to bacalao since a bad but humorous experience in Puerto Rico, but this just may make me want to try it again...

Karen C.

"Oh, suddenly life’s fun, suddenly there’s a reason to get up in the morning – it’s called bacon!" - Sookie St. James

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My in-laws like to grill it in a fish grilling cage, then smother it in plenty of fruity olive oil and chopped garlic. They boil or grill potatos, then pound them onto the plate, spoon the bacalhau over the potato, then top it with a little chopped onion, parsley, and some vinegar. Serve with bread, salad, and grilled marinated peppers in olive oil.

It's amazing, and simple.

Don't forget plenty of wine with your lunch!

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Its just such a great way to enjoy fish without having the downside of being forced to eat it the day you buy it.. You can keep it around and serve it midweek if you want.. It also is very easy to handle. This was my first time making it but I see myself always having this on hand..

Edited by Daniel (log)
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my mom would bake it with slices of potatoes, onions, linguica, hard boiled eggs and olives.

very yummy

she also made a mean fish cake with egg, potato, lots of fresh parsley, and parmesan.

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  • 3 years later...

The last time I made the Portuguese-Style Salt Cod Fritters with Lemon and Olives from Eat This Book by Tyler Florence, they were great. The flavor : wonderful; as good as any I’ve had at restaurants. However, they were very delicate and just barely held together in the pan, with some breaking up as I removed them.

My question is this: can I adjust the recipe next time by adding more egg to the mixture? Will that make them a bit firmer so that they won’t break up?

Or maybe I just need to make them a bit smaller?

TIA

John DePaula
formerly of DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

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The seafood merchant a few blocks away from my house sells a dried product labeled "hakefish." Is this an acceptible substitute for bacalao in any applications, like cod balls?

Yes smaller than cod but so long as it is dry salted as cod I do not see a problem making such recipe.

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Salted and dried cod are usually served one of three ways in Norway, and there's a difference of klippfisk (salted and dried outdoors on cliffs) and tørrfisk (salted and dried on racks under roof) and their uses. The klippfisk is considered a finer product with more delicacy (but then again my father and his family comes from Kristiansund, where they make most of it and have an annually festival for it).

Klippfisk I'd use with as little seasoning as possible as in grilled or baked with bacon, potato puré and tomato concasse.

Tørrfisk we make brandade from (very common in Bergen, where I'm from, but originally from Italy) or what we call bacalao which is a stew. I don't have any exact measurements as stews rarely need it but these approximations should work well:

Dried cod (tørrfisk) without bones

Potoes and onions in thick slices.

Make a sauce from tomatoes, diced bell peppers, chillies, garlic and basil.

Build the stew with alternating layers of potato + onions and dried cod. Fill in the pot with the sauce and bake or braise until fish and potatoes are cooked (about 1 hour). Oh, and like most stews it's better when reheated the next day :)

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