We kept seeing these pieces of dried, salted cod in the farmers’ markets in Lanzarote, yet somehow never got around to cooking with them whilst living there. But then we saw a bacalao recipe on Rick Stein‘s tour of Spain and it looked so simple, that we decided to give it a go.
You can buy these salt cod fillets in most supermarkets in Spain. Ours came shrinkwrapped and we kept it in the fridge for a couple of weeks before opening. The use by dates on these are very long (well they are preserved, after all)… so don’t worry!
Cod was originally salted as a method of preserving fish. At first you may recoil in horror at the amount of salt it is coated in – but fear not… as you are not cooking it in the salt itself. Do make sure that you soak the fish for a couple of days beforehand… and change the water frequently.
The original recipe that we found also asked for chickpeas… but we omitted those, thinking the potatoes would be enough. We were correct (for our own tastes) but do what you fancy! Next time we cook this, we’ll leave the olives out too… but that is only our palate.
Ingredients for bacalao recipe
Servings: The measures below are for 2 people with really hearty appetites – multiply up or down as appropriate. This would easily serve four if you accompany it with some salad or your fagvourite steamed vegetables.
- 2 decent sized dry salt cod fish fillets, soaked for a couple of days in several changes of water
- 4 medium potatoes
- 20-25 green olives – diced, sliced or whole. If using whole, try to find pitted olives so that you’re not having to spit pips on your plate as you eat it
- 1 jar Spanish sweet peppers, thinly sliced
- 1 tin of tomatoes, chopped. Of course you can use fresh – but do remove the skins if you do.
- Olive oil
- salt and pepper
- The dish, layered and ready to bake
Method for bacalao recipe
- Drain cod, cover with water and cook until tender.
- Make sure you remove the skin and ALL bones from the cod once it is cool enough to handle.
- Boil potatoes in their skins… then remove the skins and slice about 5mm thick.
- Place alternate layers of potatoes, cod, olives and peppers in a casserole dish, clay cazuela, or tagine with the final layer being peppers and olives.
- Season tomatoes well with salt & pepper and pour over the top. Make sure you use the juice too.
- Pour a good healthy glug of olive oil over it all and bake in a medium-hot oven for about 90 minutes.
- Serve with a nice glass of chilled vino collapso, and enjoy the extremely tasty and hearty results of this bacalao recipe!
Elle, along with Alan, is the owner of Spain Buddy and the busy web design business – Spain Web Design by Gandy-Draper.
Born a “Norverner”, she then spent most of her life “Dann Saff” before moving to Spain in 2006. Elle’s loves are Alan, the internet, dogs, good food, and dry white wine – although not necessarily in that order.