I can't say I've cooked much Portuguese food in my kitchen. Whenever I surf Leite's Culinaria's Portuguese recipe section, I drool and have designs to make some of those tantalizing recipes one day. Well, tonight marks the night when I finally made my first recipe!...salt cod fritters or pasteis de bacalhau. Find the recipe here: http://www.leitesculinaria.com/recipe...
Photo of the dish is below, as well as a link to several photos for you food porn addicts (I know who you are). The warm smell of fried food lingers in the air as I type this...in fact, the aroma is reminiscent of fish and chips.
Let me just say that this recipe was fantastic and was alot easier and more forgiving than many fried food projects. Fried evenly. No crazy oil sputtering. Didn't take long. Not at all stressful.
I pretty much followed the recipe, although I used a little more salt cod and potato and also added some black pepper. As the recipe says, it's important to taste the final batter for salt level, as my cod was well de-salted so I needed to add more salt once everything was incorporated. I also added a tiny bit of salt to finish once fried.
I took a rustic approach and used my hands to mush and blend everything together, but next time I might process the potatoes through my food mill first. I used two spoons to form quenelle-like shapes, and I made them a little bigger since I wanted it to go more quickly and it was just for me and husband. Served w/ a squeeze of lemon. Can't wait to eat leftovers tomorrow, and the recipe says they can even be served cold.
Overall, these were really, really tasty. While the uncooked batter was sorta heavy, the eggs made them puff up quite a bit when fried and lended a soft, ethereal texture. No heaviness whatsoever. I wasn't crazy about the quality of this batch of salt cod, so the potatoes and egg were welcome fillers and everything balanced well. Since there is no coating, the outside doesn't get super crispy, but rather has a thin browned skin that reminds me of the browned spots on a frittata or overheated omelette. Or like when I've fried leftover mashed potatoes.
I used some reserved canola oil from a previous frying project, but I do think that frying in olive oil would be a decadent option. The lemon that I squeezed at the table gave it a nice zing, but I yearned for a little something else...like a sprinkling of smoked paprika (will try that tomorrow). A very good recipe that could enhance a tapas-style menu, a brunch, or a Tuesday night dinner...