Last night’s dinner: Bacalao

Yesterday I had the most delicious dinner. Bacalao means cod in Spanish, but is also the name of a dish brought over by the Spanish and Portuguese many years ago to Norway. It is quite common to find this rich, spicy mediterranean dish in Arctic Norway, where you find the best dried cod in the world. It was only recently that I had it for the first time and I absolutely love it. It’s a tomato based fish stew made with dried cod.

All ingredients in the pan before cooking
All ingredients in the pan before cooking

Ingredients for 2 people:

  • 300 g dried cod fish (soaked up in a bowl full of water for one night)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 a chilli
  • 1 medium sized onion
  • 3 tbs tomato puree
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes
  • 100 g halved cherry tomatoes
  • half a glass of green olives
  • 2 big potatoes, sliced
  • fresh basil
  • parsley
  • oregano
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • salt
  • pepper

The dried cod (klipp fisk) should be cut into large chunks and placed in a large bowl of fresh water for 24 hours prior to cooking, changing the water a few times during this process.

Mix together the garlic, chery tomatoes, canned tomatoes, chilli, oregano, basil, parsley, olives, tomato puree in a large, heavy based pan. Add half a cup of water and bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Season with pepper only (as the fish will bring plenty salt). Reduce to a low heat and then layer on the fish, onions (1 cm thick slices) and potatoes (1 cm thick slices). These should be sitting in 3 layers on top of the tomato base. Let it simmer in the covered pan for about an hour, giving the pan a gentle shake every now and then to prevent sticking and allow the dish to be kept in layers. The dish is ready when the potatoes are soft.

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You can top the dish with some basil leaves and serve on a soup plate.

 

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