Salt cod may not be a basic in your home, but in many European homes, it is. It can be tossed into your morning eggs, or mixed with potatoes to make a delicious side dish; can be stuffed into peppers, or fried into small coquettes as an appetizing starter. It is a luxury here in the states, as it can be quite expensive, and traditionally it is only found on the tables during special holidays or important meals.
Bacalhau (Portuguese), bacalao (Spanish), bakailao (Basque), bacalla (Catalan), and morue (French) are just a few of the many names that salt cod goes by. Whichever name you want to call it, salt cod is all made the same; salt, cod, and time. Traditionally it was left outside to dry in the sun. Modern times have it made with the same ingredients, but the drying process is helped along with refrigeration or dryers. The drying of food preserves it, and the drying of fish gave it an added shelf life of many years. The method was cheap and could be done by the fisherman’s family, and the finished product was easy to transport to the neighboring village markets.
- 1 pound true cod, rinsed, and patted dry
- kosher salt
- cheese cloth
- deep glass dish
- small metal rack