Salt Cod: Bacalhau à Gomes Sà

by Maria Lawton

Bacalhau à Gomes Sà Photo courtesy of Maria Lawton

This codfish recipe is the most traditional dish. As far as I can remember, my mom would make this dish for us. Plus, this is the first dish I attempted to make when I was learning to cook with salted cod. If you’ve never cooked with salted cod, I recommend starting with this recipe. I’ve been told that since there are over 1,000 recipes for cooking cod, this one particular recipe has several variations. When I visited my family, my cousin Joao Manuel’s wife Anna Paula made me Bacalhau à Gomes Sá, Sao Miguel style. This method added layers of green and red peppers as well as white wine. If you’re feeling adventurous, go right ahead and try different layers.

Ingredients

  • 1-2 lbs dried salted cod, soaked overnight and rinsed several times
  • 6 medium potatoes, peeled and kept whole
  • 2 large onion, sliced thin
  • 3 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 eggs, boiled
  • black olives
  • 1 small bunch of parsley, chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions

One day before:

You will need to soak the dry salted cod before it can be used. To prepare it, rinse the salt off it and soak it in cold water for 12 or more hours, depending upon its thickness (refrigerate it in hot weather), changing the water 2-3 times daily. On the last soak, you can substitute milk for water.

When ready to cook

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large pan boil the cod then remove it. If you didn’t buy it skinless and boneless you can now remove the bones and skin and splinter it crudely and leave to the side.

Add the potatoes into the boiling water and parboil them. You don’t want to overcook the potatoes or else you’ll have a hard time cutting them into slices after. Once the potatoes are sliced leave them aside.

In a separate saucepan boil the eggs, peel them and cut them into slices and leave aside.

In a frying pan, add the olive oil and onions and sauté until they are a golden color. Add the garlic and cook together for few minutes.

In a baking or casserole dish, alternate layers of potato slices, cod, and onions until you use it all up. Make sure to drizzle a little of the olive oil at every layer. Place in the oven and bake until golden on top.

Finally, garnish with olives, sliced eggs, and chopped parsley.

Serves 4 to 6

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Read the Story…

Maria Lawton was born in Sao Miguel, Azores and currently lives in Massachusetts’ South Coast. She is widely known as the Azorean Greenbean and is the author of the bestselling cookbook Azorean Cooking, From My Family Table to Yours. She co-hosts “Our Portuguese Table” Podcast, and is currently filming a series called “Maria’s Portuguese Table” for PBS.

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