The salted cod is a specialty very popular on the tables of Potogallo, Spain and Italy. Bacalhau, or Baccalà, or Bacalao… whathever you call the salted cod, it is a true delight to enjoy all year long. To prepare a delicious dish with salted cod is indispensable follow properly the procedure to remove the salt. Below I explain a foolproof method to obtain a salted cod ready to cook!
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THE LEGEND OF THE SALTED COD
The legend behind the salted cod narrates of a group of Basque fishermen sailed from the Bay of Biscay in search of whales, a day of the XVI Century.
After a few day of sailing, it is said that fishermen have sighted a huge formation of whales. Determined not to lose the precious loot, The Basques began chasing the whales, up to the cold northern seas.
Arrived off the coast of Norway, along with whales, the Basque fishermen came across a real “field” of cod. Is said that fish swam so thick that see the water beneath them was impossible!
The men loaded the ships of cod. But the lucky Spanish had another problem: how to conserve the fish caught? They decided to reduce cod in fillets and conserve them in salt, using the same technique for the conservation of whales.
BACALHAU, AND BACCALÁ, AND BACALAO
The countries with the higher consume of salt cod are Portugal, Italy and Spain.
the most popular Portuguese recipes with salt cod are the Bacalhau de nata, cooked in the oven with cream, the Bacalhau à Bras, with potatoes and eggs and the Bolinhos de bacalau, meatballs with salt cod, potatoes and fresh parsley, fried in oil.
In Italy the salted cod is very popular in the south, where is mandatory taste the Baccalà alla Siciliana with pine nuts and raisins. In Tuscany the most famous recipe with salt cod was born in the city of Livorno: the Baccalà alla Livornese, cooked in tomato sauce.
the story of cod in the Veneto region is particularly curious: in fact what they call Baccalà in the rest of Italy is called Stoccafisso (stockfish): cod dried in Norway with the help of the cold and wind. Also due to this misunderstanding, for Venetian recipes is used either salted cod or stockfish, as in Baccalà mantecato alla Vicentina, a spread made with cod and milk served on toasted bread or polenta slices.
In Spain, the country to which we owe the origin of this delightful method of preserving cod, the Bacalao a la Vizcaina is a must-to-try, hailing from the Basque Country and cooked with potatoes, onions and capers.
The Bacalao to Samfaina is traditional In Catalonia, with eggplant and zucchini. In the province of Zamora the Bacalao a la Tranca is a must-to-eat, prepared with roast peppers, garlic and paprika.
HOW TO PREPARE SALTED COD
- Cut the salted cod into large pieces
- Soak the pieces of salted cod in a bowl of material resistant to salt, best if glass or ceramic.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and store into the fridge.
- Replace the water into the bowl every 8-10 hours
- After 24 hours, cut a little piece of salted cod and boil it for a minute, then taste to check if it is still too salty.
- If the salted cod is still too salty, extend the soak 24 hours more, replacing the water every 8-10 hours.
- Cook the cod immediately after soaking.
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TAKE A LOOK AT THIS
HOW TO PREPARE SALTED COD (BACALAO)
Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 47 Total Fat 0g Saturated Fat 0g Trans Fat 0g Unsaturated Fat 0g Cholesterol 25mg Sodium 36mg Carbohydrates 0g Net Carbohydrates 0g Fiber 0g Sugar 0g Sugar Alcohols 0g Protein 10g