The delicious dish below is traditionally cooked for family celebrations on Easter Sunday.
Salt Cod, Basque Style – Bacalao a la Vizcaina – 4 servings.
450g/1lb dried salt cod or pollack.
2 medium onions, finely chopped.
3 tbsp. olive oil.
3 large cloves of garlic.
1 slice firm white bread, toasted and chopped.
1 sweet red pepper – seeded and chopped.
900g/2lbs tomatoes; peeled,seeded and finely chopped (or 2 tins chopped tomatoes.)
5ml/1tsp. sweet paprika.
40ml/2 tbsp. parsley, chopped.
450g/1lb potatoes,cooked and sliced.
123ml/4fl oz. dry sherry.
freshly ground pepper.
Green olive, triangles of fried bread or toast and canned pimento for garnish.
1.Soak the cod/pollack in cold water for 24 hrs /overnight (at least 12hrs) changing the fresh cold water frequently. (Check out Hugh Fearnley- Whittingstall’s cookbook for salting your own pollack or cod if you cannot order it from the fish counters.)
2. Put soaked fish into a saucepan with cold water to cover and one of the chopped onions, bring to the simmer and cook over very low heat for 20 mins. or until the fish is tender. When it is cool enough to handle remove any skin and bones and cut it into 3.5cm/1-2ins pieces.
3. In food processor or blender combine the toast, pepper, tomatoes and paprika and reduce to a puree. Add to the frying pan and cook until the mixture is thick and well blended, about 10 mins. Add the parsley, potatoes, cod and sherry, a little water in which the fish was cooked and ground pepper to taste. Simmer over very low heat just long enough to heat the mixture through, about 5 mins.
4. Serve on a warmed charger(large serving plate). Add bread cut in triangles around the edges and garnish with green olives and pimiento. This looks and taste great!