Promise Her Anything
(But Give Her Stinky Bacala!)
Very near the top of the short list of things we would choose if we had only one food to eat is salt codfish. Bacala in Italian (say with a loud forced choking sound in someone’s face… “Baa-Caa-Laa”). Or—if you are a Carioca, or have the heart of one (which we do)— in Portuguesa, softly as if whispering in your true love’s ear, “baa-caa-lao”. But regardless how you say it, the proof is in the eating. It is simply, as our pussy cat godfather Tony the Tiger says… it’s GR-R-REAT!.
Please research the details and the many recipe combinations for yourself. No matter which recipe direction you choose to take the basic points are:
1. Wash the salted codfish thoroughly and let sit in water to cover overnight in the refrigerator. Change water 2-3 times.
2. Poach de-salted fish in water for 20 minutes, until cooked through and tender. (Season poaching liquid to taste, if at all.)
3. It’s ready to eat.
Two favorite versions:
Flake poached codfish and combine still warm with sautéed onion and cubed potato (sautéed sweet colorful peppers optional). Garnish with black olives, chopped hard-boiled egg, and parsley. Maybe some capers, or substitute pimento stuffed green olives for the black. Drizzle liberally with full flavored olive oil.
Serve codfish hot with whole boiled potato and a hard-boiled egg halved, steamed whole/half onion and a large broccoli cluster. Liberally drizzle full flavored olive oil and sprinkle finely chopped raw garlic to taste.
A nice salad with a zippy-zingy dressing with some hearts of palm in there... and you have the complete Carioca experience.