248 – Salted Codfish with Cream – Portuguese Recipe / سمك القد المملح مع كريم
- 1 pound (450 grams) of frozen salted cod fish (or fresh white fish)
- 6 medium sized potatoes
- 2 medium sized onions
- Olive oil
- 4 oz (113 grams) butter
- 1/2 cup (64 grams) of all purpose white flour
- salt, pepper, ground nutmeg (to taste)
- 3 cups (700 ml) milk
Step 1: Preparing the Ingredients
1- The first step is to get the fish ready. Take the salted cod away from the fish, you can find in the frozen section in specialty stores. Place the salted cod in a large bowl full of water for at least 24 hours before using it. Make sure to change the water 2-3 times to get rid of the salt.
2- While we are cooking the fish, we will separately cook potatoes and onions. To prepare them, peel the potatoes and cut them into small cubes and thinly slice the onions. Place the potatoe pieces in a large bowl of water until you are ready to use them this way they do not turn brown.
Step 2: Cooking the Fish, Potatoes, and Onions (Separately)
1- Drain the salted cod from the water where it has been sitting. Place the fish in a large pot full of water, cover the pot, and boil (on high heat) for around 30 minutes or until it gets soft. If you are using fresh fish, you would just need 10-15 minutes to cook it.
2- In a large pan, drizzle the olive oil and heat it up on medium-high heat. Add the potatoes. Stir from time to time until the potatoes are cooked. You know the potatoes are cooked when they become soft and you can split a piece with a fork. Place the potatoes in a bowl and keep for later use.
3- In the same pan (or different pan) where you cooked the potatoes, drizzle olive oil again (not too much this time) and add the onions to the pan. Cook the onions on medium heat until they become soft and golden. Once the onions are done, add them to the bowl that contains the potatoes.
4- Check on the fish, at this point it should be ready. Remove the fish from the water and place it in a bowl.
Step 3: Making the Bechamel Sauce
1- The next step is to prepare the Bechamel sauce. It can be tricky, so if you want you can just use the one from the store (already made).
2- In a saucepan, on medium heat, melt the butter.
Once the butter melts, add the flour and whisk it well.
3- After a few minutes, add the milk, a bit of salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
4- As soon as the milk starts boiling start whisking. As the Bechamel thickens, continue whisking until you get a creamy consistency. Make sure not to overcook it or the sauce becomes hard!
Step 4: Putting All the Ingredients Together
1- Now that we have all the ingredients we need, we are going to put them together.
2- First, shread the cooked cod into small pieces. Make sure it cools down before you do so to avoid burning yourself.
3- In a baking pan mix the potatoes, onions, and fish pieces. Notice that we did not put salt in potatoes and onions, because the cod fish is already salty. So be aware of the salt!
4- Pour the bechamel sauce on top of the ingredients.
5- Place the baking pan in the oven and broil it for a few minutes for the top to become deep golden brown. Serve immediately.