This recipe for Bacalhau com Natas (Cod with Cream) was recommended by my Portuguese friend Ana. The original recipe she sent comes from portuguesefood.pt. However, I modified the instructions to make them easier to follow, at least for beginners like me!
Bacalhau is a staple ingredient in Portuguese cooking. It can last for ages on the shelf since it is salted and dried. I found most of the ingredients for this dish at the supermarket. With the exception of the bacalhau, which I ordered the authentic ingredient from Portugalia in London.
The casserole is simple and has subtle flavours. It is filling and is a meal on its own, especially with the potato cubes. We enjoyed it with some vegetables on the side, which added some colour to the plate.
500 g Cod (Bacalhau), boneless and skinless salted cod
2 onions, sliced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
200 ml Cream
200 ml Milk
1 Tbsp butter
Soak the salted cod in warm water for 30 minutes, and rinse at least two times with cold water. If the cod is in large pieces, then break the cod apart into smaller pieces.
Preheat the oven to 200C.
In a large pot, boil water. Next, peel the potatoes, cut into cubes and add to boiling water. Boil for about 12 minutes, until tender. Then drain and set aside.
In a frying pan over medium heat, add some olive oil, onion and garlic cloves. Then let it cook until the lightly browned. Next add the cod and season with salt and pepper. Cook for about five minutes, or until the cod is soft. Add the milk, cream, butter and a pinch of nutmeg and let the sauce thicken a little. Finally, add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.
Add potatoes to the cod mixture, then toss to mix. Transfer to a glass baking dish and put in the oven to brown on the top, about 10-15 minutes.
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