Salt Cod (Bacalao)

Joined May 11, 2001
I was wondering if anyone has suggestions for cooking salt cod. I made fish cakes and salt cod empanadas for Easter this year and they were quite good. My mom usually makes it Spanish-style with the tomatoes and capers and I love it that way, but I want to experiment. There was a Jacques Pepin recipe in a cooking magazine I had where the salt cod is cooked in a cream sauce with fresh fennel I think, but I can't find the magazine at the moment.
Joined Mar 13, 2001
Ruth Rogers and Rose Gray, cookbook authors and proprietors of London's River Café prepare a mean salt cod with fresh porcini and globe artichokes. This dish is usually served at Christmas.

You may find the recipe in one of the following books


or in


Also, check your TV listings for this coming Saturday or Sunday. On PBS <The Italian Kitchen> featuring Ruth Rogers and Rose Gray.

I'm not sure if the Bacalao recipe is featured, but it's worth watching anyway!

The show is part of PBS pledge drive. I suggest you tape it so that you go through the pledging periods using the FF mode.


P.S.: If you find the book, just copy the recipe. I do that often enough...
Joined Dec 12, 2000
There's always salt cod with ackee. I've heard that this is Jamaica's national dish.
Joined Mar 13, 2001
This one comes from Martinique

Acras de morue


2 lbs dried salt cod will yield 2 cups once desalted—place the cod in a large bowl, cover with water for 12 hours, changing the water once. (let this sit at room temperature)

2 cups desalted cod
5 large shallots or 2 large onions, finely minced
3 hot Scotch Bonnet chiles finely minced (gloves recommended here)
1/2 cup parsley (more or less)
1/4 cup chives (more or less) (optional)
2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
Approximately 2 cups of water

Place the cod in a pan, cover with fresh water and cook for 15 to 20 minutes. The flesh must be fork tender. Be careful not to overcook otherwise it will be too dry. Let cool. Crumble the flesh, removing skin and bones, as the case may be.

In a large bowl, mix the cod, the shallots, the chiles, the parsley and the chives together. Add the flour and baking powder. Mix well with a fork or a wooden spoon. Add water in several additions until a paste consistency (see photo)


This mixture must rest at least one hour, two is better, at room temperature.

In a large pan, heat up some oil at 375 degrees. Drop tablespoonfuls of mixture into the hot oil. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until golden. Drain on kitchen paper.

The best drink to accompany this dish is Barbancourt rum.

Note: It may seem like a lot of chiles but when cooked, it's just like a mild perfume. I promise!


[ June 03, 2001: Message edited by: Kimmie ]
Joined Mar 6, 2001
Wow, you guys make me feel really dumb when it comes to using the computor. How in the world do you import photos like that? I don't mean to get off subject...could you just buy me a small clue, please?
Joined May 11, 2001
Thanks for the replies :) I forgot all about Brandade de Morue. I had that once and enjoyed it. I've seen the Ackee recipe somewhere, but I don't think I'd be able to find Ackee in Central Illinois and I'm scared of cooking things that I'm unfamiliar with but I know can be poisonous (i.e. Ackee when not ripe).

Maybe I'll try the Newfie recipe. I didn't know Newfies had internet access ;) (joke from a fellow Canadian).

W.DeBord: For inserting a pic, I think you have to have the image posted on another website first. Then you put the complete URL for that image in the dialog box that pops up when you hit the image button in the Instant UBB Code section. Here's my lovely dog from when he was a puppy.


[ June 04, 2001: Message edited by: Risa ]
Joined Mar 13, 2001
P.S.: concerning the Acra recipe, I forgot to mention that fresh cod may be used. It saves time since you only have to poach it.

Don't forget to add salt with the shallots, the chiles, the parsley and the chives.

Joined Mar 13, 2001

Here's the recipe from River Café Pooh was talking about. Finally found it today at Indigo:

Salt Cod with Artichokes and Porcini Mushrooms
(Serves six)

600 g (1 lb 6 oz) salt cod
6 globe artichokes
4 lemons
7 tbsp. olive oil
1 red onion, peeled and chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
Maldon salt and freshly ground black pepper
14 oz fresh porcini mushrooms, brushed clean and thinly sliced
1 dried chile
75 ml (2 ½ oz) white wine
2 tbsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Extra-virgin olive oil

Soak the salt cod in cold water for 48 hours, if you bought it dried, changing the water at least 6 times.

To prepare the artichokes, cut off the stalks 2 cm (3/4 inch) from the base. Peel or cut away the tough outer leaves until you are left with the pale tender heart. Cut each heart in half (or in quarters if they are large). Scrape away the prickly choke. The artichokes will discolour but this does not alter the taste. Rub with half a lemon to prevent this.

Heat 2 tbsp. of the olive oil in a thick bottomed pan. Add the onion and soften over a low flame. Increase the heat, add the artichoke pieces and fry and stir until they have a little colour. Lower the heat, add 1/3 of the garlic and cook slowly. When the garlic begins to grown, add 3 tbsp. water and some salt and pepper. Cover with a lid and cook until the water has evaporated and the chokes are soft. This will take about 10 minutes.

In a separate large pan, heat 2 more tbsp. of olive oil. When hot, add the mushrooms and almost immediately 1/3 of the sliced garlic, frying together over a high heat. Season with the dried chili, salt and pepper, squeeze over the juice of half a lemon and remove from the heat.

Remove the cod from the water and pat dry. Cut the fillets in half.

Heat the remaining 3 tbsp. of the olive oil in a large flat pan. Add the rest of the garlic and lightly brown. Carefully place the cod fillets skin side down in the oil and seal for 2 minutes. Add the white wine, season with black pepper, cover the pan with a tightly fitting lid and steam for 6-8 minutes depending on the thickness of the fillets.

Remove from the heat and allow the cod to cool. Using a spatula, lift the fillets out of the pan, pull off the skin and pull out any bones. Carefully break the cod up into large flakes.

Combine the mushrooms with the artichokes and check for seasoning; then add the cod. Squeeze over the juice of one lemon. Finally fold in the chopped parsley and serve with lemon wedges and extra virgin olive oil.

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