December 21, 2015
Bacalao, pronounced [bah-kah-LAH-oh] is Portuguese dried, salted cod fish. Before refrigeration, fish was dried and preserved in salt to keep in the cellar. There are hundreds of variations of bacalao recipes, but my favorite has always been Bacalao con Patatas (bacalao with potatoes) – however I don’t make it much at home because traditional recipes require too many steps and forethought for my bad habits (impatience and spontaneity).
After spying a bag of bacalao at my local market, I decided to create a recipe that that would cut out a major tedious step. Unfortunately, I couldn’t nix the “forethought” part – as bacalao needs to be soaked overnight in water to get rid of some of its salt. It’s a step that can’t be skipped (boo) and there really isn’t a good shortcut.
The “major tedious step” I’m talking about is boiling the potatoes first before adding it to the dish. Okay, so I’m being dramatic, but bringing a large pot of water to boil (and of course, staring at the darn thing waiting for the first bubbles) and then cooking the potatoes until tender is crazy boring and requires another pot on the stove.
Instead, dice the potatoes into 1/2″ dice, briefly brown them in the saute pan along with the rest of the vegetables. Then add the bacalao, a cup of water, cover and let ’em all simmer quietly and harmoniously for 15 minutes, just enough time to cook the potatoes through.
Serve over pasta, rice, quinoa….or enjoy with a loaf of bread.
Source: Steamy Kitchen
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