Well prepared Baccala (Salt Cod), is actually quite delightful. It has a firm texture that is not fishy, with a slight chew. Baccala is a traditional recipe of the Feast of Seven Fishes. Honestly, I wasn’t sure I was prepared to give this dish the justice it so deserves. Baccala requires soaking. In most instances, this can take up to three days. Check out tips for soaking baccala from Delallo by clicking here!
However, I got super lucky and found these one pound crates of Baccala at The Carolina Meat & Fish Co. from Stavis Seafoods. The salt cod was already skinned, boned and cut into filets. Furthermore, I did not have to take three days to soak. Yes, I took the easy route. You know what? I’m super ok with that. Although, at some point, I would love to be in an Italian kitchen watching the pros develop this incredible recipe. Basically, I only had to rinse in water for about fifteen minutes. Next, I placed the salt cod in a pan of water on the stove and allowed it to soak on medium-low heat. The water was changed about three times. That was it!
Additionally, although not traditional, you can use fresh cod and forgo soaking all together. Not certain you could call it Baccala at this point. However, the dish would be quite similar to my Cod with Cherry Tomatoes, and would be a great substitute for those who do not enjoy salt cod.
HOW TO PREPARE BACCALA (SALT COD)
Once you have prepared the salt cod by one of the two methods mentioned above, heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy bottom, oven-safe pot. I love using this enameled cast iron pan from Lodge. Click here. Add in the onions, garlic and crushed red pepper. Sauté for about two minutes. Pour in the white wine and can of tomatoes. It is very important to use high-quality tomatoes. This can of San Marzano fit the bill. Crush the tomatoes. Toss in the capers. Season with kosher salt and black pepper. Bring to a boil. Lower heat. Allow to simmer for twenty minutes.
Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the salt cod in the simmered liquid, along the the lemon juice, lemons, and olives. Drizzle another tablespoon or two of olive oil over the cod. Cover and place in oven for twenty minutes.
TO SERVE BACCALA (SALT COD)
Grab a serving platter. Place the finished cod. Coat with the luscious sauce you created. Drizzle on a touch more olive oil and garnish with fresh chopped parsley! ENJOY this amazing recipe for Baccala!
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