Bacalao is one of the easiest types of fish to prepare, and it can be used with an infinite number of ingredients and accompaniments. That is why there are many recipes to prepare stewed bacalao to delight the most demanding diners and palates.
A very easy way to serve bacalao is boiled. It is a very easy dish to prepare and at the same time healthy. You can give it extra flavor by accompanying it with different types of side dishes such as rice or boiled potatoes.
Bacalao can be bought as fresh, salted, or gourmet - also known as skrei. The type of bacalao you choose for stewing will bring different flavors to your stews. Skrei is one of the most prized by the most discerning palates.
- Bacalao, whole or sliced
- Bay leaf
- Before starting to cook the bacalao (regardless of the type of stew and the style of preparation), you must desalinate the fish. If you have enough time, you should follow this process; if not, you can buy it already desalted, although it is a little more expensive.
- To desalinate the fish, you will need to cut it into pieces. As you are going to make stewed bacalao, you can cut it into two pieces or slices.
- The first thing to do is to place the bacalao in a container with plenty of water. The water should cover the fish completely. For very thick portions, you will need to desalinate the bacalao for 48 hours and change the water every 6 hours. If the pieces are thin, then 36 hours is sufficient, changing the water every 8 hours. The desalting process should always be done in the refrigerator, otherwise the fish may ferment.
- To stew the bacalao and serve it boiled, you will need to heat a casserole with plenty of water and add bay leaves and/or any other aromatic herbs of your choice.
- Bacalao is a fish that cooks very quickly, so to prepare it boiled you will need to wait until the water is boiling before putting the bacalao in the pan.
- You will know it is done when the water starts to boil again. Be careful, as each part of the bacalao requires a specific cooking time or else the fish will be overcooked and may break.
- For small pieces, it is sufficient to cook for three minutes. For larger, thicker pieces, five minutes are necessary.
- Boiled bacalao can be served with boiled (boiled) potatoes or with a plate of white rice. This is a simple and very healthy preparation.
Recipe bacalao stewed with vegetables
Another quick and easy way to prepare bacalao is with vegetables. It is a stew that everyone loves, as it is very comforting and also incredibly healthy and nutritious. Remember that before starting to prepare the recipe, you must first desalinate the fish, or buy it already desalinated. You must also cut it into slices of more or less the same thickness, so that the cooking time is the same and the fish does not break.
- Desalted bacalao, cut into slices
- One spring onion
- Two cloves of garlic
- One red pepper
- One green pepper
- One celery
- One courgette
- Three medium potatoes
- Two bay leaves
- Canned natural tomato
- One teaspoon of sweet paprika
- Vegetable stock
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
- After desalting the bacalao, it is necessary to clean it and remove the skin and bones. If you buy desalted bacalao, you can ask the fishmonger to do the whole cleaning process.
- Wash all the vegetables and cut them up. The spring onion and garlic cloves should be finely chopped; the celery and peppers should be cut into small cubes, while the courgette should be cut into slices. Finally, the potatoes just need to be peeled.
- Heat extra virgin olive oil in a frying pan and sauté the onion with a pinch of salt. When the onion is soft and transparent, it is time to add the garlic and bay leaf.
- Stir and add the peppers and celery.
- Leave to cook for a few minutes and then add the canned tomatoes, previously crushed.
- After five minutes, add the courgette and potatoes, as well as the paprika and a pinch of salt.
- Stir and cover with sufficient water or vegetable stock.
- Bring to the boil, cover and lower the heat.
- Cook for approximately 20 to 30 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.
- If the water or stock evaporates during this time, add more, as the stew cannot dry out.
- The bacalao pieces should be added near the end of cooking. It is important that the bacalao is not overcooked so that it does not break up.
- Once the bacalao has been added, it is necessary to stir so that the fish integrates well with the rest of the ingredients.
- Adjust the water level if necessary.
- If there is a lot of liquid, it is advisable to leave the pan uncovered and turn up the heat so that the excess liquid evaporates.
- Once the fish is ready, serve and sprinkle some chopped parsley on top.