Salt Cod Fritters with Allioli
Bacalao - salt cod - is one of the great Spanish delights, adding flavor to
bland ingredients such as potatoes. If you are unfamiliar with it, then this is
a delightful way to try it out. Bitesize fish cakes, dipped into rich, creamy,
garlicky allioli, are irresistible as a tapas dish or appetizer.
- 1 lb
- 1 1/4 lb floury potatoes
- 1 1/4 cups milk
- 6 spring onions finely chopped
- 2 tablespoon
- 2 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 eggs, beaten
- Plain (all-purpose) flour, for dusting
- 3 1/2 oz dried white breadcrumbs
Olive oil , for shallow frying
- Lemon wedges and salad leaves, to serve
For the allioli:
- 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 1/4 cups
- Juice of 1/2 lemon, to taste
Soak the salt cod in cold water for at least 24 hours, changing the water two
or three times. The cod should swell as it rehydrates. Sample a tiny piece. It
should not taste unpleasantly salty when fully rehydrated. Drain well and pat
dry with kitchen paper.
Cook the potatoes, unpeeled, in a pan of lightly salted boiling water for
about 20 minutes, until tender. Drain. As soon as they are cool enough to
handle, peel the potatoes, then mash with a fork or use a potato masher.
Pour the milk into a pan, add half the spring onions and bring to a simmer.
Add the soaked cod and poach very gently for 10-15 minutes, or until it flakes
easily. Remove the cod and flake it with a fork into a bowl, discarding bones
Add 4 tablespoons of mashed potato to the cod and beat them together with a
wooden spoon. Work in the olive oil, then gradually add the remaining mashed
potato. Beat in the remaining spring onions and the parsley.
Season with lemon juice and pepper to taste - the mixture may also need a
little salt but taste it before adding any. Add one egg to the mixture and beat
it until thoroughly combined, then chill until firm.
Shape the chilled fish mixture into 12-18 balls, then gently flatten into
small round cakes. Coat each one in flour, then dip in the remaining beaten egg
and coat with dried breadcrumbs. Chill until ready to fry.
Meanwhile, make the allioli. Place the garlic and a good pinch of salt in a
mortar and pound to a paste with a pestle. Using a small whisk or a wooden
spoon, gradually work in the egg yolks.
Beat in about half the olive oil, a drop at a time. When the sauce is as
thick as soft butter, beat in 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice. Continue adding oil
until the allioli is very thick. Season to taste, adding more lemon juice if you
Heat about 3/4 inch oil in a large, heavy frying pan. Add the fritters and
cook over a medium-high heat for about 4 minutes. Turn them over and cook for a
further 4 minutes on the other side, until crisp and golden. Drain on kitchen
paper, then serve with the allioli, lemon wedges and salad leaves.
Premium Salt Cod Tenderloins (Solomillos de Bacalao)
This is the very best bacalao from Spain: the top cut of the cod, the
fishermen catch these fish in the traditional manner using their own boats. The
freshly caught fish is immediately hand-cleaned and packed in sea salt. This
method has been used by these fishermen for centuries. The result is a firmer
fish that is flakier when cooked.
When you see the characteristic spots and stripes on the skin you will
recognize that these gourmet pieces of bacalao are authentic, and not just a cod
look-alike. The skin is retained so that you will experience the delicate flavor
at its best.
The natural fish with its skin on is essential for several dishes, such as
bacalao al pil pil (dried cod in a creamy garlic sauce), where the gelatinous
layer between the skin and the flesh combine with olive oil to make a
The thin "solomillo" filets will grow to about a pound when soaked. Place the
fillets in the refrigerator in a bath of cold water for 48 hours. Submerge with
the skin side up, changing the water about every 6-8 hours. After soaking, the
fish should be about 3 cm thick. You cannot oversoak them.
'Unio' Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Unió Extra Virgin Olive Oil is made
solely from the juice of cold
Arbequina olives. They are grown deep in the rugged Pyrenees near the French
border, in Catalunya This is a variety of olives gaining in popularity in both
the United States and the general population of Spain, for that matter. The
olives are tiny and sweet producing a delightfully fruity light flavor, which
especially complements green garden salads and light cooking. You can savor its
wonderful buttery flavor by dipping a piece of crusty bread.
The economical tin is a practical way to store your oil. Since it is metal,
and not glass, it protects the oil from sunlight thereby protecting its delicate
flavor and extending the product's shelf life for several months. There is a
technical difference between this oil and the bottled Unió oil, which is
designated D. O. Siurana.
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