In Portugal, one of the most common foods is bacalhau, salted and dried cod fish. While we were visiting the Douro Valley, we had this dish for lunch and really liked it. This recipe for Bacalhau a Bras is based on several online recipes. One adaptation is to use potato sticks instead of shredding and frying potatoes. My Portuguese friend Ana said that most people use this shortcut. Luckily, these are available in the UK. If you have extra, they taste good as snacks.
My main tip for this recipe for Bacalhau a Bras is to ensure that you soak and rinse the bacalhau enough. In fact, I soaked and changed the water five times even though most recipes recommend two or three times. Otherwise, the dish will be very salty. Remember that the potato sticks are also salted. On the side, I served the dish with some padron peppers, or salad would also be a good accompaniment.
400g salted dried cod pieces
2 onions, peeled, halved and sliced
4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2 Bay leaves
200g potato sticks (batata palha)
4 eggs, beaten
Salt and black pepper to taste
Extra virgin olive oil, 2 Tbsp plus more to taste
About 15 black olives, or more to taste
Handful of fresh parsley, chopped
First, soak the cod in water for about 12 hours, changing the water 4-5 times.
The next day, bring water to a boil and cook the cod for about 15 minutes. Then drain the cod. Shred the fish and set it aside.
Next, in a large frying pan heat about 2 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Then add the sliced onions, garlic and bay leaves. Cook and mix occasionally for 5 minutes. Then add the cod. Cook and mix for another 5 minutes. Add the potato sticks and mix well. Then stir in the beaten eggs, salt and pepper.
Cook for 3-5 minutes, until the eggs are cooked. Drizzle more olive oil to taste. Finally, serve on plates and top with the olives and fresh parsley.
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