Fluffy salt cod fritters… and the turbo-encabulator

One more time for the Turbo-encabulator…

We could all use a good laugh. Here’s one of my favorites – because I used to write scripts that were achingly similar to this one…

…pre-famulated amulite surmounted by a malleable logarithmic casing in such a way that the two spurving bearings were in a direct line with the panametric fam. The latter consisted simply of six hydrocoptic marzlevanes…, so fitted to the ambifacient lunar waneshaft that side fumbling was effectively prevented.

 

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And now, one of my favorites:

Palate-pampering, fluffy salt cod fritters – buñuelos de bacalao

In Spain it’s bacalao, in Portugal it’s bacalhau, in Newfoundland there is the island of Baccalieu, and they all mean cod, or more literally, stockfish. The Portuguese have hundreds of recipes for cod, but none involves the fish in its unsalted, uncured state. The following recipe is from Spain, adapted from The Essential Mediterranean Cookbook, and asks you to plunk down about $12 for a 1 lb. box of salt cod, but you won’t regret it. The big surprise here? Beaten eggs whites folded gently into the fish-potato mixture to yield a soft, fluffy fritter with a crispy crust.

For about 4 servings you’ll need (mostly the usual suspects in the kitchen):

  • 1 lb. salt cod, rinsed for 24 hours with 3 water changes
  • 1 yellow potato, unpeeled
  • 2 tbsp. milk
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/4 cup self-rising flour (or regular flour, if need be)
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • plenty of olive oil for frying

Now do these things:

  • First, about rinsing the cod: I usually do three water changes over 12 hours, but to be safe, have a taste of the fish after 3 changes to see how it’s doing, and if it’s too salty, soak it another time.
  • Gently boil the unpeeled potato for about 20 minutes or until soft. Let it cool, easily peel it, then mash it with the milk and olive oil.
  • Drain the cod, cut into pieces, and put into a saucepan with water, just covering the fish. Bring to a boil, then cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until the flesh is soft. Drain the fish, then mash it until it’s flaky.
  • Saute the onions in olive oil until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
  • Now combine fish, mashed potato, onion, garlic, egg yolks, parsley, and flour in a bowl and mix well. Season as you wish – with pepper, cayenne, Old Bay, etc.  In another bowl whisk or beat the egg whites until stiff, and gently fold into the mixture.
  • In a large heavy skillet heat about 3/4″ of olive oil over medium high heat and, when hot, drop in heaping tablespoons of the mixture and cook until golden brown on the bottom – about 2 minutes. Gently flip them and finish cooking, then remove them, drain, and serve.

My wife and I had these with sauteed corn and green pepper, as in the photo, and froze about 5 fritters that were left over. Really good, all around.

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Ned White

About Ned White

Ned White is a writer, novelist, crossword puzzle constructor, traveler through 49 states, and at times a danger in the kitchen. He lives with his wife in South Thomaston.