If you know anything about Portuguese cuisine you will know that bacalhau (salted cod) is an obsession. We believe there are thousands of ways of preparing this delicious cured fish which is as close as one can get to a national dish. Here, we combine the flavourful bacalhau with a sweet roast celeriac puree and stewed leek and seaweed mix. This recipe uses the sous vide technique to highlight bacalhau’s soft and creamy texture. We prepare this recipe using the Anova but it will work with any sous vide machinery. Picture show an (optional) foam made of mussel juice and soy lecithin.
2 large bacalhau portions/postas (soaked for three days in cold water)
2 cups of roast celeriac (peel and cut a celeriac in cubes and roast with a little olive oil and salt for 40 minutes, turning occasionally)
Bacalhau (salted cod) is subject of much debate, adoration and respect all over Portugal. The careful curing of an otherwise fairly uninteresting fish results in a rich taste and satisfying texture which the Portuguese absolutely love.
The curing is a complex process which determines the quality of the final produce. Most of us don’t cure our own cod and can only source the best we can like the superior cod from Sr António in Mercado da Ribeira, Lisbon. What we have a hand on is the soaking process; this is a make or break deal. Some important tips to keep in mind. The water in which you soak the cod must be cold (and be kept cold). In the summer we often soak cod in the fridge of keep ‘feeding’ it with blocks of ice. Bacalhau soaked in lukewarm water is not a pleasant experience… In Portugal it is know that cod must be soaked skin up but not everyone knows why! If you were to soak it skin down all the salt would be retained in the layer between flesh and skin and would ultimately relea...
Bacalhau is the undeniable Portuguese staple food. It literally refers to the cod fish species but always relates to its cured variety. Salted cod is loved all over the world (even though it is eaten with some suspicion by certain foreigners…). The history of bacalhau is parallel to the history of Portugal. In 1353 Portuguese fishermen were, by agreement fishing cod in English waters, shortly later, during the discoveries, Portuguese navigators took salted cod on their journeys. A practical way of preserving fresh fish, this type of cure gave way to a unique flavour and texture used in a variety of dishes; some say one different recipe for each day of the year but we all know bacalhau can be cooked in 1001 ways (even though we don’t claim that characters in Arabian Nights ate it every day…!).