400g/15oz salt cod/salt fish, soaked in cold water for 24hours
30ml/2tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 1/2 green peppers, seeded and chopped
500g/1¼ lb peeled & chopped ripe tomatoes or 400g/14oz tin tomatoes
15ml/1tbsp tomato purée
15ml/1tbsp clear honey
¼tsp dried thyme
½tsp cayenne pepper
Juice of ½ lemon
2 potatoes (medium sized)
45ml/3tbsp stale breadcrumbs
30ml/2tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
Salt & ground black pepper
If using shop bought salt fish it should be soaked in cold water for 24 hours, drained and rinsed before use. If home made lightly salted fish is used then an overnight soak followed by a rinse should be adequate.
Drain the salted fish, place in a pan, generously cover with water and bring to the boil. As soon as it boils remove the pan from the heat and set aside until cold.
Heat the oil in a medium sized pan. Gently fry the onion for 5 minutes and then add the garlic. Add the chopped peppers and tomatoes and cook over a gentle heat to make a sauce. Stir in the tomato purée, honey, dried thyme, cayenne pepper, black pepper and a little salt. Taste and season as required. Add a little lemon juice to make it ‘tangier’.
Peel and halve the potatoes lengthways and cut them into slices about the thickness of a coin.
Drain the fish and reserve the cooking water.
Turn on the grill to heat up. Cook the potato slices for about 8 minutes, with no added salt, in the reserved water.
Flake the fish and remove any skin and bones.
Make up the dish in layers. First put in a third of the sauce, cover with potato slices, followed by a layer of flaked fish and the finally the remainder of the sauce.
Combine the breadcrumbs and parsley together and sprinkle over the dish.
Place under the grill for 10 minutes until golden brown.
There’s kind of a funny story here. I was supposed to use salt cod and honestly I thought I had salt cod. I brought back from Barcelona a can that says salt cod on the label (Bacalao) and I thought when I opened it, I will see slices of salt cod. Instead, it turns out that I bought a can of bacalao paste which, obviously, I can’t use for this recipe. Because I had bought all the ingredients, I decided to just use fresh cod for this dish.
Can’t really say much about this dish except that it tastes like a typical fish bake. I think it definitely needs some salt cod to make it more distinctive.