In Spanish -bacalao, in Portuguese - bacalhau, in French morue, in English, it is saltfish!
Saltfish is made from varieties of cod: cod, ling, saithe and tusk.
It is a dried and salted fish which retains all the good qualities of fresh fish - only the water has been removed.
Preparation: Before using salt fish in a recipe, it must be prepared by removing the skin (if required), then cutting it into pieces and soaking for at least 24 hours with a couple of changes of water. Then, using fresh water, boil the pieces for 5 or 10 minutes. We try to send you saltfish with no bones, but if there are a couple they are easily removed at this stage if you break up the saltfish with a fork.
Saltfish first became popular in the Middle Ages - like smoking and pickling it was one of the few ways of preserving fish in the days before fridges and freezers.
In Spain it is eaten in Lent, in Sweden on Christmas Eve. The Portuguese say they have 365 ways of preparing it!
ECONOMY- SALT FISH EXPANDS TO ONE AND A HALF TIMES ITS INITIAL WEIGHT WHEN IT'S COOKED
A speciality of Provence in the south of France is aļoli - essentially cold salt fish and vegetables served with a very garlicky mayonnaise. A very good dinner-party dish - an assortment of food to be dipped into a dish of aļoli.
|Cook an assortment of fresh vegetables very lightly so that they are still crisp, or even better, serve raw. Carrots, potatoes, green beens, leeks and cauliflowers are all good. Cut them up as neatly as possible and arrange in a dish. In another dish arrange cold saltfish with cut up hard boiled eggs, red peppers, sliced small onions or shallots, and canned artichoke hearts. |
Serve with a bowl of aļoli made by crushing 4 to 8 garlic cloves in a mortar and pestle and add to mayonnaise with lemon juice and salt and pepper.
Serve with black olives and crusty bread. Have ready some individual dishes to serve.
Don't forget the wine!
Saltfish is essential for Jamaican ackee and saltfish and for saltfish fritters.
More fish recipes