Saturday, January 05, 2008

Bacalao - the New Year dinner

Bacalao (or Portuguese bacalhau) means codfish. It is also the name of Mediterranean dish made with the Norwegian salted and dried codfish that has been exported to Europe for hundred of years. There are many recipes from different regions in Southern Europe and even South America. Bacalao is also a favourite for many a household on the western coast of Norway. I made the Norwegian variety for the Trysil New Year celebration. Great stuff for the dark and cold season.

If you would like to try, here is how to do it.

Soak the salted and dried codfish in water for 24 hours and cut into large chunks.

Slice 3-4 large onions, roughly, and mince 4 cloves of garlic. Add as much chili as you like (As I was out of chili peppers I took out a jar of Santa Maria jalapeno slices and minced a few. I found that I could have added even more after my taste.) Then slice waxy potatoes in 1 centimeter thickness.

And add much olive oil! 20 cl in the bottom of a large pan, and add onions, garlic, and chilies, and fry until golden. Then put onions, fish, and potatoes in layers until pan is full. Then add canned tomatoes, tomato puree, and water. Allow to simmer for 2 hours.

This is approximate quantities, if you would like to find a recipe, you may find one in English here.

And this is what you may plate up. Bacalao is true fusion cooking - a passionate date between the fish from the cold Norwegian waters and the oil, garlic, and tomato from the Mediterranean.

Bacalao is a dish that can take a good and rich red wine, or as we did, a cold beer and a glass of akevitt.

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