9 marzo 2013

Bacalhau à Brás for Culinary ABC

 la ricetta in italiano qui

Just two days left to participate to our trip in Portugal for the Culinary ABC, then we'll be moving to another country.
I have toasted a couple of weeks ago with a traditional Port Wine Flip and baked last week a fabolous Broa's Bread, now it's time for the most traditional food of this region.
Cod is a food symbol in Portugal, estimated to be consumed 25 kg per capita per year.
It's everywhere in Portugal, you can find it in every shop and restaurant, of different sizes and salature.
They say there are 366 recipes to cook it, one per day, plus one more for leap years!
The strong liaison between Portugal and the cod begins with the first transatlantic crossings towards the newly discovered Americas. Navigation times imposed transportation trade to last longtime and cod soon conquered a leading large space, 10% of the total fish. Cold weather also did not allow fishing during winter months and Portugal made a virtue of necessity. In 1958 the country is the world's leading manufacturer of dried codfish. And the great availability of salt coming from the enormous salt flats on the Portoguese coast definitely contributed to this success.

 bacalhau à brás

Bacalhau à Brás means Cod from Brás, as São Brás is a town in the South of Portugal, in Algarve region.

Cod can be considered a food with a high biological value, contains all the essential amino acids, and is completely absent in carbohydrates. It is abundant in vitamin PP and B1, but does not contain vitamin C. It is rich in calcium and phosphate. Before being dried, liver of fresh cod is set aside to extract the famous cod liver oil, rich in vitamin D.

I have cooked eggs separately and then combine with cod in the plate as a flan, helping with a circle mold: fish first, then some potatoes and eggs on top, a sprinkling of parsley, an olive and a little drizzle of extravirgin olive oil.

But it could be also an excellent choice for shot glasses for aperitif or small cups served as an appetizer.

Some people serve this fish with sliced hard-boiled eggs instead of scrambled.

  bacalhau à brás  

Serving 4:

600 soaked cod
2 onions finely sliced
3/4 potatoes, finely sliced
1 clove garlic, chopped
half a shot glass of white wine
4 eggs, beaten slightly
extra virgin olive oil
chopped fresh parsley
olives for garnish
peanut oil for frying

bacalhau à brás

* if you buy dried cod, let it soak in cold water for 24 hours, changing water often, then leave it an hour in milk or beer to soften further

Peel and cut potatoes very thin (like chips) with a mandolin and fry in hot oil, drain and keep aside on kitchen paper.
Meanwhile, gently fry onions and garlic in a pan in a little oil, add a dash of water and let simmer a few minutes.
Then add cod into small pieces (chopped by hand), give a mix, sautée with wine and cook about 10/15 minutes, partly covered in medium/low flame.
In a small frying pan cook eggs in a little oil and scrambled them.
Serve the cod in each dish, covered with some potatoes and a couple of tablespoons of scrambled eggs, garnish with parsley, olives and other potatoes.

Original recipe:

Peel potatoes, cut into "julienne" and fry. Let them dry on kitchen paper and keep aside. In a frying pan combine  garlic with onions and a little oil, leave slightly brown and then add cod, chopped with your fingers, and potatoes prepared previously. Add salt and pepper and let cook about 10 minutes, then add eggs to the mixture and stir for a few minutes. Turn off and add a good handful of parsley and olives.

bacalhau à brás

2 commenti:

Joan Nova ha detto...

This is one of my favorite Portuguese recipes. I've often seen it finished with black olives but that was at Portuguese and Brazilian restaurants in NY.

You've made it look very elegant.

Cindystar ha detto...

Thanks, Joan, it should be with black olives but did have any at home :-( ... and just a couple of green for the picture :-)
Let me ask you something: was it served with scrambled or boiled eggs?

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