Fish and seafood recipes

Cod or spiritual bacalhau. Portuguese recipe

Cod or spiritual bacalhau. Portuguese recipe


  • Half
  • 60 minutes
  • For 4 people
  • € 2.25 / person
  • 305kcal per 100g.

How to make a   spiritual cod . The first time I ate it was in Lisbon, a long time ago, when I was still on vacation with my parents. I loved it then.

In Portugal they have a cod recipe for every day of the year and this is one of the ones that I like the most. When speaking of this land, everyone associates its gastronomy with cod and it is one of the few countries in which its typical dish, cod , cannot be purchased directly on its shores. Precisely, this species is located, basically, in the North Atlantic, being imported from Norway to the Portuguese tables.

Although today I am going to give all the prominence to my succulent spiritual cod , I want to emphasize the great variety of fish that you can taste in Portuguese cuisine. In its markets you can find sardines, tuna and mackerel among many other species, all of magnificent quality.

This dish is very easy to prepare. The mixture of the bechamel and the sweet onion and carrot sauce is crazy. Although you are not very friends with the bechamel, I assure you that it is almost not noticeable. The final touch that remains on the palate means that you cannot avoid repeating once or twice. As for the cheese, I have used a cured mixture of sheep and goat and the result has been extraordinary.

For its preparation you have to prepare some straw potatoes , I usually use a mandolin. If you are very fond of fried potatoes or if you often cut or scratch them, it is best to have one at home, so you will have an impressive golden cod or brás .

Another option is to cut the potatoes into thin slices and then into very thin strips, although you can also buy frozen potatoes with extra fine cut or straw. I prefer the natural potato, but as I always say, it is your choice.

In any case, I can guarantee that you will love this way of preparing cod. It is a worthy dish for any meeting in which you want to impress and it is also very simple to prepare, what more could you ask for?

Before cooking. How we desalinate cod

  1. The first thing we are going to do is chop the loins. Next we are going to immerse them in water. It is important that the pieces are completely covered with water, so the size of the container and the water must adapt to the amount of cod to be desalted.
  2. To eliminate almost all the salt, it must be soaked for at least 48 hours, changing the water 3 or four times (approximately every 6 hours). However, the term can be shortened if a little salty is preferred.

Preparation of spiritual cod

  1. We bring water to a boil and, when it is boiling, add the desalted cod loins. We turn off the fire and let it cool down in the water. When the water is warm, we remove the cod loins and remove the skin. Crumble the cod and reserve it.
  2. We cut the potato with the mandolin in the fine cut position. If you do not have mandolin you can cut the potato into slices and then into very thin strips. We put them to soak.
  3. Then drain the potatoes. It is important to remove the water well, so that the oil does not jump when frying them. Salamos.
  4. We fry the potatoes, with plenty of oil, in two batches, so that they do not stick together. They are as loose as possible. We will turn them around so they don’t burn below. When they are golden brown, we take them out and let them drain the oil on a plate with some absorbent paper.
  5. Chop the onion, carrot and garlic. First we put the onion with the laurel, so that it is done. When the onion is transparent, add the carrot and let it fry for about 3 minutes. Next we put the minced garlic. Over very low heat (at 3 or 4 out of 10), we will let the sauce cook until the garlic is golden, but be careful not to burn it. When it is ready we remove from the heat and reserve in the same pan.

Preparation of the béchamel

  1. For the bechamel sauce, we will put in a large frying pan a tablespoon full of flour, two pieces or tablespoons of butter and a jet of extra virgin olive oil (like two tablespoons of oil).
  2. We mix these ingredients taking care not to make lumps.
  3. We pour the milk little by little, stop and stir so that they do not become lumpy and we add the milk again. Next we add nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste.
  4. It is advisable that the bechamel is not too thick, rather light, but if it is too liquid, you can add a tablespoon of cornmeal and stir until it gets a little thicker, but I repeat, not too much. Reserve in the heat of the stove, but with the fire or heat off.

Baking of cod and final presentation

  1. We put the sofrito over very low heat and add the shredded cod, the straw potatoes and the parsley.
  2. We fry it for a minute and remove it to a clay pot or similar that is oven resistant.
  3. We add the béchamel over the previous mixture, leaving it homogeneous. Then we put the grated cheese on top.
  4. And baked at about 180 ° C in gratin or grill position, until the surface is golden (about 25 or 30 minutes).
  5. We take it out of the oven and serve it hot.

You will surprise your guests and it is fast, simple and cheap. And if you want to make it even more special, you can buy some puff pastry volván, fill them and gratin them before serving, you will love it!

Be sure to enjoy all the recipes for fish and seafood that we have on the blog.

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