Thursday, September 10, 2020

Salt Cod Fritters with Romesco and Escarole


Makes one dozen fritters

1 lb box of bacalão (salt cod)

2 tbs olive oil

¼ c heavy cream

½ c dry fino sherry

1 c okonomiyaki flour or regular pancake mix, plus more if necessary for a very thick batter

1 tbs lard or butter


2 large red peppers                                                    

½ cup toasted almonds, crushed                      

2 cloves garlic

¼ c olive oil

1 tsp salt

1 head of escarole

2 tbs olive oil

Salt to taste

Dabs of mayonnaise

1 thinly sliced small hot red chili pepper

 Soak the bacalão in water for 24 hours in the fridge, changing the water often. Sauté it gently in olive oil until it begins to fall apart, then transfer to a bowl. Add the cream and the sherry and mix until the fish has broken up completely. Then add the okonomiyaki flour. With your hands roll the batter into a dozen small balls and fry in a pan with hemispherical depressions such as an abelskiver or Takoyaki pan, or simply fry in a regular nonstick pan. Fry until golden brown and then transfer to a rack to cool.

Place the red peppers directly on the gas burner or grill and turn frequently until completely charred. Place in a large paper bag until cool. Scrape off the char with a knife, do not rinse, remove the seeds and core, and chop the pepper finely. Place in a pan with the garlic and olive oil and cook gently until soft. Add salt. Then transfer to a mortar and pound until it becomes a chunky sauce.

Chop the escarole and sauté in the oil until tender. Add salt to taste while cooking.

To serve arrange the fritters on a plate with the sauce and the escarole on the side. Garnish with the mayonnaise and slivers of chili pepper.