Bacalaitos at Mum’s for lunch…..

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A light crispy crust and a soft and creamy inside…..and they call them Bolinhos de bacalhau, frittelle di baccalà and here on the island Sfinec tal-Bakkaljaw, and bacalao in Mexico served on Christmas Eve.

Salt Cod fritters are one of my favorite childhood memories. Mum is the best bacaliatos maker and knowing that I needed to drop in today to pick up something, she surprised me with a bacaliatos lunch…. What a treat, I love it when someone else cooks for me.

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She told me today all about the street vendors she remembers as a young girl selling these salted cod fritters and local bean purée on carts with wheels around the villages…. street food that has now evolved to nearly a delicacy. Salt was a cheap method to preserve the fish in times of limited refrigeration space. I’ve seen recipes using baking powder for the fritters. Mum uses yeast and this means that the next day if you have leftovers they are moist, soft and doughy rather than inedible as they would be with a baking soda mix. I just adore them.

I found David Tanis’ piece on Salt Cod in the New York Times very informative and cannot agree more that I like mine chunky and rustic. We ate our fritters fresh served with olives from mum’s garden and a simple salad… This is what I call heavenly…

You will need:

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1kg salted cod
vegetable oil for frying
500g water
500g all-purpose flour, plus some extra for dredging
10g dry yeast
a pinch of salt
Dried Oregano and Mint (mum used her own dried herbs from her garden)

Soak the cod in the later overnight,
Change the water and rinse twice
Boil the cod until soft, drain and remove bones.

Make the batter. put 10g of yeast together with the flour and dry ingredients,
Add luke warm water leave to rest and rise.
Dip the cod pieces into the batter and deep fry until crispy on the outside.
Leave to rest for 5 minutes. Serve

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A Mediterranean winter with rays of sunshine ….