Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Cod Fish Biscayne Style (Bacalao a la Vizcaina)

This is another Basque staple and also another way to serve salted cod fish.


1 Red Onion

1 Leek
2 Garlic Cloves cut in thirds
1/4 Green Pepper for the Sauce
3/4 Green Pepper cut in julienne to decorate 
3 Tablespoons Tomato Sauce
1 1/2 Tablespoon Pimiento Choricero (the meat of  the Choricero Pepper sold in Spanish Stores) or 10 Dried Red Peppers, but not hot.
Water or fish stock to add to the sauce if it is too thick

We start with the process of desalting and rehydrating the cod. Put the salted codfish under running water to get rid of the exterior salt, then cover the cod, skin up, with cold water for 48  to 72 hours, or follow the instructions on the package, or do what they tell you to in the “bacalarería” (cod store), changing the water every eight hours.

To make the Biscayne Sauce:

In a pan cook the red onion and garlic until it gets translucent, then add the tomato and the meat of the choricero pepper. (If you use dry red peppers, you have to rehydrate them -boil twice, remove from the water, open them to remove seeds with the help of a spoon, remove the meat leaving a translucent skin.

Stir the mixture of onions, garlic, tomato, and the pepper meat for about 3 minutes. Put the mix in a blender and purée until it becomes velvety and smooth.

Once the cod is ready to cook, pat it dry and set aside. In a pan add the pieces of cod one at a time with the skin up and “confit” them, meaning the oil shouldn’t get hot, so set your burner at the lowest possible setting. Remove the cod when it is flakey but not dry - it should be juicy and tender. Add the sauce and continue on low heat so as to not overcook.

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