Written by: Alexia Warner
During Lent one of my favorite treats is Cod Fish (Μπακαλιαρος). Here, I share one of my favorite recipes for cod fish which is a bit more playful and sinful at the same time (you guessed right, some frying is involved but you don't have to eat too much. After all, this would defeat the purpose and meaning of lent...)
- 2.5 lbs of cod fish (salted cod fish is what I use for this recipe)
- 2 eggs
- Beer (oh, yes!)
- Finely chopped dill
- Finely chopped oregano
White Garlic Sauce -skordaliá (optional):
- 1lb stale white bread
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 7 FL Oz (a small cup) of extra virgin olive oil
- Lemon juice (one juicy lemon is enough)
- A pinch of salt
For the sauce: Soak the stale bread in water and squeeze to drain it well. In a blender, combine bread, garlic cloves and start mixing. Gradually add the olive oil and lemon juice until the mixture develops a saucy consistency.
Bonus Tip: Sauces like skordaliá develop a better taste and texture if they are prepared a day ahead of serving. If you plan a dinner, you can get the preparation of this sauce out of the way a day earlier and achieve a better result.
At least 24 hours before executing this recipe place cod fish in a bowl with water to desalt it. Make sure you change the water frequently as just leaving it in the same water over 24 hours won't do the trick. I usually change the water 4-5 times over the period of 24 hours. If you don't do this step you will end up with one very salted cod fish meal.
Most salted cod fish comes already in small pieces (one serving) but if that's not the case you will need to cut the fish into smaller pieces prior to proceeding with this recipe; think that every piece you cut should be enough for one person.
Once the fish is desalted and dried (you can use paper towels to drain any access water) you can proceed with the preparation of the batter (κουρκουτι) which will consist of the two eggs, beer, salt and pepper to your liking, and flour. I love freshly grounded pepper for this step and would highly recommend! The goal for the batter is to be fluid enough so that you can dip the cod fish without dripping much. For this reason you have to play a bit with the balance of beer and flour as you don't want to end up with a batter that is too solid. If your batter ends up being to liquid then add some more flour to it.
In a frying pan, heat up some oil and let it get very hot. Once it starts to bubble, add the cod fish dipped in batter (careful not to splatter). Fry until the batter starts to get a nice golden color. In a large plate lined with paper towels (they will absorb any excess oil) place the cooked pieces of cod fish and keep warm until it is time to serve.
If you have chosen to prepare the white garlic sauce you can serve it on the side along with the codfish.