Bacalao is Spanish for Cod fish. Salt cod is a staple of the Spanish diet, especially popular in central and northern Spain. For thousands of years, fish was caught and preserved with salt, so it could be consumed at a later date. Ruins of Roman fish processing facilities can still be seen in villages along the Mediterranean coastline. Even though refrigeration has eliminated the need to salt fish to preserve it, salt cod is so tasty that it is still served often in Spanish homes and restaurants, especially during Lent and Christmas.
Cod is one of the most popular fish in Europe. Cookbooks from the various regions are filled with a wide variety of cod dishes, particularly the Basque Country. Salted, dry cod must soaked in water for 24-36 hours before cooking, and the water must be changed 2-3 times. After leaching the salt out, the cod can be cooked.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Yield: 2 Servings
- 5-6 oz (150 gr) dried salt cod aka bacalao (preferably boneless)
- 2 long green sweet peppers (Anaheim or Italian)
- 1/2 large white or yellow onion
- 4 eggs
- 3-4 oz (89-118 ml) virgin olive oil
Note: The salted cod fish must be soaked in water for AT LEAST 24 hours, preferably 36 hours before cooking. This is necessary to leach out the salt. Change the water 2-3 times. If it is not soaked, it will be so salty that it will not be edible!
Remove the bacalao from the package and rinse the excess salt from the outside. Place the fish in a glass or ceramic dish and cover completely with water, then place in the refrigerator.
Remove the fish from the water. Pat it dry with paper towels. Cut into small pieces and flake - with a fork, or your hands if necessary. Remove any skin or bones at the same time.
De-stem and de-seed the pepper and chop into small squares. Peel and chop the onion. Pour olive oil into a medium frying pan and heat. Add onions and peppers and saute until onions are soft and translucent.
Beat 4 eggs in a medium bowl and add onions, pepper and cod and mix thoroughly. Taste before adding salt. Because cod is salted, the omelet may not need more.
Pour a small amount of oil into a small frying pan (8-inch) and heat on medium. Pour half of egg mixture into pan. Allow eggs to set, then flip over and cook other side. Repeat with the other half of egg mixture.
If serving as a tapa, cut into 2-inch squares and place on top of slices of fresh baguette, and these omelets will serve 6. If serving as a main course, serve them whole for 2.