It is said that there are hundreds, if not thousands of ways to cook Salt Cod. This is my attempt at cooking this highly desirable fish. I have applied a deconstructed concept to the dish, using common elements found in most Bacalhau recipes, and then used the ever popular Recheado masala as the final element to tie it all together. I thoroughly enjoyed creating this dish, and I hope that you try it and enjoy it too.
1 pound salt cod (boneless/skinless)
3 potatoes (peeled and cut in small cubes)
2 onions (1 chopped fine, the other thinly sliced)
2 chilies (chopped fine)
5 cloves garlic
2 - 3 tablespoon recheado masala (recheado masala recipe)
fresh parsley (garnish)
salt and pepper to taste
1. Wash the salt cod thoroughly and soak it in a bowl of water for a period of 24 hours, changing the water a couple times. This will help to rehydrate the fish and remove excess salt from it.
2. After the 24 hour period, rinse the fish one last time, place in a pan with enough water to cover it, and cook on medium-low heat until the fish starts to flake. Drain and discard the water.
3. Once the fish has cooled, flake it using two forks. Cover and keep aside.
4. Hard boil the eggs. Peel, quarter and keep aside.
5. Add the chopped potatoes to a pan of salted water and let them cook until tender.
6. Drain the potatoes, and add some pepper and parsley to it. Mix, cover and keep aside.
7. Add 1/4 cup olive oil to a sauce pan along with the recheado masala. Mix and cook on low heat until the masala and oil starts to separate.
8. If you're going to finish off the dish as I have done, and top it off with caramelized onions, then thinly slice an onion and cook on low heat until it turns crispy. Add about 1/2 teaspoon of salt about 5 minutes into the cooking process. This will help to draw out the natural sugars from the onion, and helps with the caramelization process. Note: do not cook on high heat as the onion will burn.
9. Heat a couple tablespoons of oil in a pan, and add the chopped onion to it. Cook on high heat for a couple minutes.
10. Lower the heat to medium, and add the chopped garlic and chilies to the pan. Fry until the onions turn translucent.
11. Add the flaked fish to the pan next.
12. Stir fry on medium-high heat until any residual water evaporates. Turn off the heat and start the plating process.
13. Spoon a couple tablespoons of the potato mix on a plate. Add a couple tablespoons of the fish mix on top of it. Top it off with the caramelized onion and drizzle some of the oil from the recheado masala over the fish. Serve along with chopped tomatoes, olives, hardboiled egg and the cooked recheado masala.
Note: You could simplify the recipe by combining the potatoes, fish mix and recheado in the pan, and serve with rice or bread, along with the garnish items as a side salad.
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