This recipe from the Portuguese-American community of New Bedford, Massachusetts, is a version of a dish popular in Portugal’s Azorean Islands. Serve it with lightly sauteed potatoes and ice-cold Vinho Verde, Portugal’s famous white wine.—the Editors of Saveur
1 pound salt cod
1 to 2 cups flour
Vegetable oil for frying
For the garlic-pepper sauce
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh parsley
2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
Pinch of cayenne
1 teaspoon pimenta moída (Portuguese fermented pepper paste)
1. Put the salt cod in a large bowl, cover with water, and refrigerate for 24 hours, changing the water several times.
2. Combine the olive oil, vinegar, parsley, garlic, cayenne, and pimenta moída in a small bowl and mix thoroughly. Set aside to allow flavors to blend. Makes about 1/4 cup.
3. Put the flour in a medium bowl. Drain the cod, pat dry, then dredge it in flour, shaking off the excess.
4. Pour the vegetable oil into a large skillet to a depth of 1 1/2 inches and heat over medium-high heat. Fry the cod, turning once, until golden brown, about 9 minutes. Remove the fish from pan, drain it on paper towels, then transfer it to a large platter. Serve warm with garlic-pepper sauce drizzle over top.
Note: Buying Salted cod and Pimenta Moída — Buy salt cod from the largest pieces possible and look for a supple texture, not a firm, pressed one; it should be white to grayish white in color, not yellow. Boxed salt cod is acceptable, but unboxed is better. Hispanic grocers and fish markets carry salt cod. Pimenta Moída is available at Portuguese markets and some Hispanic grocers.
Recipe © 1998 Chronicle Books. All rights reserved.