As some of you may already know, I was born on the Island of Sao Miguel, the largest Island in the Portuguese Azores Archipelago. I came to Canada with my parents at sixteen months of age, as my parents were looking for a better life and a good place to work and raise a family. Six years later, at the age of seven, I became a Canadian Citizen, along with my parents. I have been back to Sao Miguel and Portugal several times in my life. Although I feel more Canadian than Portuguese, Sao Miguel holds a special place in my heart. It is where my roots are, my family, my history, it all began there. And with that, comes my love for traditional Portuguese food. At our house, on our table, the influence is always there, in the ingredients, the spices, even the tableware.
Fish is eaten regularly in Portugal and among the most popular is bacalhau (cod fish). In Portugal, cod is always sold dry and salted. This is how they keep the fish fresh without needing refrigeration. We can find the same dry, salted fish here in many supermarkets. I would like to share with you my recipe for a typical Portuguese dish I made last week, while my Mom was staying with us.
Bacalhau a Gomes de Sa (serves 4-6)
2 pounds deboned salt-cod (soaked in water for 24-36 hrs prior, making sure to change the water 3-4 times)
8 medium potatoes, peeled, sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 large onions, sliced thinly
3 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 extra virgin olive oil (divided)
black olives, pitted
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
salt to taste
First cook cod in a large pot of boiling water for 8-10 minutes. Allow to cool and flake into small pieces. While cod is cooling, you can boil potatoes (1/4 inch thickness) and eggs in a separate pot.
Once cooked, drain water from the potatoes. Set aside. Peel hard-boiled eggs and slice for garnish. Set aside.
Pour 1/4 cup of olive oil into large skillet. Saute onions and garlic until golden, over medium heat.
In a large baking dish, brush bottom with olive oil. Add half of your potatoes, half the cod fish, half the onions, potatoes again, cod again, and top with onions. Drizzle the leftover half cup of olive oil over the entire dish. ( I also sprinkle a little salt over the potatoes, after each layer)
Cover baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Remove. Decorate with sliced eggs, black olives, and sprinkle with chopped parsley.
And here you have it, Bacalhau a Gomes de Sa. I hope you can try my recipe some day and tell me what you think! Thank you for visiting my kitchen! Have a wonderful day!