Baccala, also known as Salted Cod, is an Italian tradition dating back to over 500 years ago. Salt cod originally became popular because of its availability, economic feasibility and ease of preservation through drying and salting. Once the idea started to catch on, Baccala soon became the fish of choice on meatless Friday’s and was used in many famous Italian recipes, especially in the Veneto region.
Today, Baccala may have lost a little bit of its hype, however around the holidays; it is a completely different story. Consumers tend to stick with tradition and we have found that our customers love to prepare their ancestor’s recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation. When prepared, the flaky texture of salted cod and its unusually intense flavor (which is never fishy), makes this dish an unforgettable favorite!
NOTE: Since Baccala is salted, it must be soaked before cooking. Before it goes through the soaking process, we recommend cutting your fish into large pieces. (This will help speed up the rehydration process.) To prepare, first wash the pieces thoroughly to eliminate all salt on the surface. After the cod is rinsed, completely submerge all parts of the fish in cold water for 36-48 hours, depending on the thickness of the fillet. We recommend changing the water a couple of times throughout the day, and keeping the tub of soaking water in a cool place.
As for our favorite recipes, it was extremely tough to narrow it down to just a couple! Below are just a few of our favorite Holiday Baccala dishes:
Baccala Salad– Recipe Compliments of Saveur Magazine
Salt Cod with Tomatoes and Capers– Recipe compliments of Mario Batali, Epicurious
As a healthier alternative, our market chef just prepared her own version of a Fresh “Baccala” Salad, now available in our retail case!
For those of you wanting to make this on your own, view our market chefs recipe below:
Wild Alaskan Cod, Black Olives, Red Peppadew Peppers, Capers, Red Onions, Lemon Infused Olive Oil (available at Euclid Fish), Salt and Pepper.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. While your oven is heating up, cut a sheet of aluminum foil large enough to wrap each codfish fillet completely. Brush the aluminum foil with lemon infused olive oil to prevent the fish from sticking. Place each cod fillet in the center of the foil. You can flavor the fish with salt and pepper, to taste. Wrap the fillet in the foil to create packets, and then seal tightly by crimping the edges. Place the foil packets into the oven for 10-15 minutes. Once finished, open the foil packets carefully as contents will be hot.
After the cod has cooled, cut each fillet into bite size pieces. Mix the chopped cod, olives, red peppadew peppers, capers and chopped red onions in a bowl. After all ingredients are mixed, add in Lemon Infused Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper to taste. ENJOY!
And for those of you still wondering how to pull off the perfect Holiday Feast, we found this great article written by Lidia Bastianich with The Seven Secrets of the Feast of Seven Fishes.
Check back tomorrow for our favorites recipes w/ Calamari and Eel!
The Euclid Fish Company