As I said before I love food – absolutely love eating! But I love other things as well and, for now, I feel like writing about everything and more. So I decided to dedicate Wednesdays to food. Let’s call it Foodie Wednesdays! I’ll have to see how I get along with my Foodie Wednesdays, I have some spare time now, but if that changes I may have to adjust. No worries, we will still have a foodie day, it may not be the same day every week, but my passion for eating isn’t going anywhere soon.
Ok let’s get cracking. Last weekend it was bank holiday weekend here in the UK. For most people it may mean going away for a short-break, meet your friends at the pub, go out for meals everyday, etc. For me, as I have to save money while I try to figure out what it is I want to do with my life, it meant three relaxing days with the better half, and delicious homemade cooking.
One of the delicious meals was a Portuguese traditional dish with a twist. We call it ‘bacalhau com natas’ which translates into ‘creamy codfish’. Now, you may not be aware but in Portugal there’s more than 1000 ways to cook salty codfish. When I say salty I mean the dry and salted cod, not sure you ever seen it. It smells and looks really weird, but it’s done so to preserve the fish for longer periods of time. I think it’s a technique that comes from medieval times or something, you know, before fridges, but I am not really sure. For the salt and dried codfish history please visit Wikipedia.
Creamy codfish is one of my favourite ways of cooking this weird delicacy, as you can’t quite feel the ‘fishy’ taste, as the British put it. It’s basically a mix of potato, onion and the cooked cod with white sauce made with cream to top it up. To my own delight I added prawns.
It looks like this and it’s so yummy! Recipe below, let me know if you do try it – it’s not the easiest way to start with your dried salted cod, but it’s definitely one of the most delicious.
– 2 medium size onions
– 3 or 4 garlic cloves
– Dry and salted Cod
– 40g tablespoon Flour
– 40g Butter
– 200 ml Codfish cooking water
– 200 ml Milk
– 250 ml Cream
– 1 tablespoon Olive oil
– Cheese (if you want)
How I did it (Recipe)
– I first had to ‘unsalt’ the cod – I left it for 48 hours in fresh water, changing the water quite often. The timings depend on the size of the cod fillets you’re trying to unsalt.
Cook the codfish – 10 min in boiling water will be enough – and keep the cooking water
Once it’s cold, remove fish bones and skin and shred it roughly (with your hands, don’t mince it!)
– Chop the potatoes into little squares and fry it. I cheated, I used pack of already fried potatoes (it came from Portugal – batata palha – in the UK it only exists in Portuguese stores). Dry the potatoes so it’s not as greasy and reserve.
– Prepare the white sauce: in a small pan or cooking pot place the butter and wait till it’s melted (don’t let it burn). Add the flour and stir. Slowly add the codfish stock and the milk and stir. Add the cream (I used semi-skimmed milk and soya cream, for a healthier option). Let it boil, and turn off the hob. Add nutmeg, salt and, if you’re not allergic to it like I am, go ahead and add black pepper.
– Pre-heat your oven.
– Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and add the sliced onions and chopped the garlic cloves. Once the onion is slightly golden add the cod. Add the potatoes and mix it gently, for 5 min, then add 2/3 of the sauce and finally the prawns. Let it cook for 6-10 min.
– Place the mixture in an oven dish (like pyrex) and add the remaining sauce on top. If you want to add some cheese on top before placing it in the oven for about 10 min.
BING, you’re done. Yummy!!
I am sure there’s tones of other creamy codfish recipes out there, so feel free to follow a more ‘professional’ one. Ha! But still let me know how you got on!