Salt cod / Baccala

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by surfcast, Nov 25, 2016.

  1. surfcast

    surfcast

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    Don't have allot of experience cooking it , do love to eat it .

    Got lucky, and acquired some at a great price now have 26 LBS  in the freezer ! Needless to say I am preparing some for Sunday. MY question is I have made some in the past , I went threw the whole salt and rinse process. But the last time I did it, I boiled it for 20 Minutes. Then I took it from the water, removed skin and bones, then made a cold salad out of it . It came out good, I see some recipes for it served hot , but they are not mentioning that step were you boil it first ? Could any one share how they handle this, or any recipes that the like, would love to here it !

    BTW " Happy Thanks Giving "
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2016
  2. johnny tom

    johnny tom

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    I purchase a whole fish and portion it into pieces that I will use for each recipe that I have. I pack it into zipper bags and just store it in the refrigerator. It doesn't need to be frozen as salting and drying is the method used for preservation. The thin belly and tail portions I'll use for fritters or brandade and I'll save the prime loins for grilling with a little olive oil or putting big chunks into a fish stew.

    I have heard that some would let it soak at room temperature on the counter. I soak my fish in the refrigerator, it's good to be food safe.

    The thin belly and tail portions need to be soaked for about 18 hours with at least 2 to 3 fresh water changes. The thickest pieces up to 72 hours and 5 to 6 water changes. If it soaked too long it loses it's brineyness (is that a word?) and becomes flavorless.

    I'll soak twice what I need and freeze half. That way I'll have some ready to use and I don't have to wait 2-3 days to soak more fish before I want to cook it.

    After allowing the salt cod to soak for however long you want, take a small piece and cook it in simmering water for 3-4 minutes and taste it. It should have a ham-like flavor, that way it will give your recipes that rich salt cod taste. I prefer it to be a little more salty. I like bold flavors and I can tame it with some potato if it is too strong.

    The thinner pieces only need to be cooked for 6 to 8 minutes in gently simmering water, the thicker pieces 15 to 18. I don't let the water come to a boil, as that would make it break apart and not leave a tender piece of fish. When I use the baccala I like to poach it to rare and mix it into the fritter batter or finish it on a grill.

    It is said that the Portuguese have 365 recipes that use Bacalhau. I go through 8. I look forward to seeing more replies.
     
  3. lagom

    lagom

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    I soak mine, changing the water several time for 3 days. On the third day I do a last overnight soak in buttermilk. Dredge in flour and gently fry in clarified butter. Learned this way from my grandmother from Calabrese, we always had it on Christmas eve as part of the seven fishes.
     
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  4. surfcast

    surfcast

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