- 45 minutes
- For 4 people
- 3.5 € / person
Today I bring you a recipe that can handle both a daily day and a dinner with friends. The main ingredient is one of the fish that I like the most, cod , and if we accompany it with one of the most famous sauces of Catalan gastronomy, we will have a luxurious recipe: cod loins with cheeks, dried fruits accompanied by romesco sauce .
This fish is one of the most appreciated ingredients in Galician and Portuguese gastronomy, the dish is made with the very common salted cod, although you can also prepare it with fresh cod . It is one of the oldest foods of which there is news , since it is known that the Spanish fished it as early as the 11th century, and it has played an essential role in the history of feeding peoples. In several quotes from Don Quixote de Cervantes cod is sometimes the protagonist, of all I would stay with this:
“Said, it happened to be Friday that day, and there were only rations of a fish that they call pollock in Castilla, and bacallao in Andalusia, and curadillo in other parts, and in other truchuela. They asked him if by chance he would eat his trout favor, that there was no other fish to eat (…) it could be that these trout were like the veal, which is better than the cow, and the kid than the bastard. But, whatever it is, come later, that the work and weight of arms cannot be carried without the government of the guts. They set the table for him at the door of the shop, because of the coolness, and the guest trickled him with a portion of the badly soaked and worse cooked bacallao and bread as black and grimy as their weapons. ” ( Quixote, Rico, 53 )
And what about one of the most famous sauces in Spain, the romesco sauce. Deeply rooted in the Catalan stove and origin linked to the cuisine of Tarragona, where it usually accompanies all kinds of preparations, especially fish and vegetables. It is documented that the romesco was born in the fishing district of Serrallo (Tarragona) and has survived since the end of the 19th century in the kitchens of its inhabitants, eminently fishermen, although it is increasingly present in the menus of bars and restaurants in any corner of the municipality. . I advise you to prepare this sauce at home and accompany it with grilled vegetables, any type of fish and some white meats, a grilled chicken breast is great. I hope you like it with this classic, easy and of course, delicious.
Preparation of romesco sauce
As is the case with popular dishes, there are almost as many versions as kitchens. Some substitute a part of almonds for hazelnuts that are cultivated in the original land of the romesco. In general, more oil is added when you want a softer and more liquid sauce, or fried bread or maria biscuits (which sometimes substitute fried bread in mashed potatoes or as thickeners in traditional Catalan cuisine) if you want to thicken it. For flavor and a personal touch, depending on the cook, add raw garlic, chilli, paprika, etc. At home we like it slightly spicy but you can remove the chilli and you will have your sauce to taste.
- The first thing we will do is put the ñoras to hydrate in a saucepan with hot water. As soon as we see that they have recovered their original appearance, we reserve them to cool down. We preheat the oven to 180º and put the tomatoes in a source (we cut them in the base to later facilitate the peeling) and the garlic cloves. In about 25-30 min they will be at their point depending on the power and efficiency of the oven.
- While we have the oven working, we are going to separate the pulp from the skin and try to also remove the seeds. We crack the walnuts and hazelnuts. Together with the ñoras, toast them in a frying pan over medium heat for about 5 minutes. We reserve.
- After the baking time of the tomatoes we let cool and taking care not to burn we remove the skin. We cut the garlic cloves in half, press with a spoon and the pulp will come out easily, with the texture as if it were a puree.
- In a glass of mixer or mixer, toss the diced tomatoes (once the water has drained), the onion into pieces of the same size, the ña pulp, the garlic puree and the bread slices. We also add the dried fruits and a good squirt of vinegar. We salt to taste.
- We beat on high speed, at the same time that we incorporate the olive oil, so that the sauce is linked. We are grinding until reaching the desired texture, a homogeneous and creamy sauce. If we want it to have a spicy touch, before beating we will add half a chopped chilli or a tablespoon of hot paprika.
How to desalinate cod
- To desalinate the cod loins we must first cut them if they are very large. Normally the thick loins are those that are usually used for preparations in sauce with longer cooking (for example in tomato sauce or Biscay. The thinner parts will be used for making pil-pil sauce. Finally, the cuttings will be used in scrambled eggs, cold or warm salads and to fill peppers.
- To desalt the cod, the piece of fish must be covered in plenty of water.
- The thick parts will desalt for 48 hours, with water change approximately every 6 hours. The finer parts will desalinate for 36 hours, with a water change every 8 hours. The remains and the crumbled cod usually desalt under the cold water tap for 10 minutes but if you do not want to spend a lot of water, you can also leave them to soak for 2 hours with a change of water after 1 hour, that is enough.
- While the fish is desalting it must remain at a temperature between 6 and 8 º C in the refrigerator, since at room temperature it can ferment. If it happens to you, you will undoubtedly notice, it has already happened to me, the smell is … well, I don’t need to describe it. Inside the fridge we avoid temperature rises and falls, which would accelerate or delay desalination.
Preparation of the Cod and the garnish
- Peel the potatoes, wash them in cold water and dry with absorbent kitchen paper. In Galicia, in the past, it was used to cook the potato with its skin in chunks, normally in the middle and put it in the casserole with a little salt. Although I love them with the skin, in this case they are peeled to accompany as a garnish, if you prepare them with smaller potatoes similar to Canarian potatoes you can take them with the romesco sauce as if it were mojo picón, one pass you will see.
- We throw the peeled potatoes and cut in half to cook in the casserole. We cook them for 10-12 minutes, it depends on the potato and the type of cuisine we have, we are testing that they are tender without breaking, it is important that they do not fall apart. We test, pricking them occasionally with a fork.
and we reserve for the assembly of the plate.
- Taking advantage of the heat of the oven to roast tomatoes and garlic, put the fish on a tray, skin side down and a good splash of olive oil on top. In 7-8 minutes at 180º C the cod tacos will be ready. If the product is good, no further elaboration is necessary. To decorate the plating we have reserved some dried fruit (toasted).
We place the cod loins on the base, cover with a little of the romesco sauce. Next, some cooked potatoes, a strip of sauce and nuts to decorate. We serve it very hot and with a little bread because the sauce in this recipe is great. Ready and lick your fingers!
Be sure to enjoy all the recipes for fish and seafood that we have on the blog, I assure you that you will find a lot of ideas to make yours much happier.