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Cod in a Pickle

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I don't know if its primarily a Newfoundland thing, but I bought some expensive salt cod frozen from an Italian market yesterday.

I was surprised to see it in an italian market. The owner told me to stick it in water to get rid of some salt for two days. I researched it and everything I read said soak overnight. I guess maybe she suggested longer because it needed time to thaw?

Also, she advised me to dredge it in flour before frying then put tomato sauce over it. I've never heard of that.

So, 3 part question here... Leaving it for 2 days seems like it would be safe because came frozen and in salt, but is it risky?

Why am I supposed to get rid of high salt content only to add bacon later if I'm making fish in brews?

If anyone is from Italy, is salt cod popular in dishes and is it common to put marinara on it?
post #2 of 19
Frozen? Never heard of a salt cod that was stored frozen

When soaking, two days is about right. Water needs to be changed a couple of times per day. I soak in the refrigerator.

You need to get rid of some salt because it is very very salty.
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
Frozen
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianShaw View Post

Frozen? Never heard of a salt cod that was stored frozen

When soaking, two days is about right. Water needs to be changed a couple of times per day. I soak in the refrigerator.

You need to get rid of some salt because it is very very salty.
Frozen seemed odd to me too because they do have it fresh. I don't know enough about it that I should even be experimenting at all with it, so trying to be safe.

Do you know if I even have to add the salt pork? Seems counter productive to remove salt then put in another salty meat.
post #4 of 19

Bacula I think it's called in Italian?  Used to make fishcakes with it years ago. I have never fried it.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply
post #5 of 19
Don't hesitate to expreriment. Freezing it may have been a storage choice of the grocer for some reason but it is unnecessary. I can't imagine it hurting the product. Salt cod, by design, should last until the next coming as long as it is kept dry. Bacon or salt pork will add a flavor as much as salt. Taste while soaking to know how salty it is. Cod cake is my favorite but fried with tomato sauce sounds yummy too.
post #6 of 19
Here is the first of many threads obtained per the search option on Chef Talk.
The key words were salt cod.

Bacalao - salted cod ideas?
started on 01/17/15 last post 01/20/15 at 5:34am 11 replies 266 views


mimi
post #7 of 19

Salt cod is popular in many parts of Italy as well as almost every country, in Europe, with an extensive coastline.  I love the stuff but it's not readily available in the Midwest.  As for pairing it with a tomato based sauce, that also is pretty popular in a number of countries so neither of those things is out of the ordinary.  The only strange thing about your story is keeping it in the freezer.

 

How long you soak it will depend on the final product.  If I was serving a larger portion, or as a larger piece I would probably soak for 2 days with, at least, 4-5 water changes.  If I'm making fish cakes or Brandade (my favorite use for salt cod) then I want a bit more salt left in it, so I would probably only soak for 24 hours with2-3 changes of water.

post #8 of 19

Apart from removing some salt, you need to soak it simply to rehydrate it somewhat. A proper salt cod is hard enough to hammer in a nail with it.

post #9 of 19

Adding bacon should be fine, as long as you remove most of the salt from the fish.  You wouldn't want salty fish with bacon, yuck you may as well just stick your head in a bowl of salt.  

 

There are many dishes with tomatoes for salt cod.  I've made it every way possible, one of my favorites is as fish n chips, as far as I'm concerned it's the best fish for that dish.

 

If you've never heard of tomatoes then what were you going to do with it?

 

 

Here are some of my favorite dishes with salt cod:

Cod stew

A similar cod stew with the addition of chard.

Cod cakes

*

Brandade croquettes

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply
post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefedb View Post

Bacula I think it's called in Italian?  Used to make fishcakes with it years ago. I have never fried it.

Yes! That is what it is called. Some ended up in a chowder because I couldn't wrap my head around the recipe I originally was trying for.
post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianShaw View Post

Don't hesitate to expreriment. Freezing it may have been a storage choice of the grocer for some reason but it is unnecessary. I can't imagine it hurting the product. Salt cod, by design, should last until the next coming as long as it is kept dry. Bacon or salt pork will add a flavor as much as salt. Taste while soaking to know how salty it is. Cod cake is my favorite but fried with tomato sauce sounds yummy too.

I will always look for any excuse to sample bacon paired with pretty much anything.(;
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by flipflopgirl View Post

Here is the first of many threads obtained per the search option on Chef Talk.
The key words were salt cod.

Bacalao - salted cod ideas?
started on 01/17/15 last post 01/20/15 at 5:34am 11 replies 266 views


mimi

Thanks for the link! When I told my newfie friend about adding milk, he was all "huh?" Hee hee
post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete View Post

Salt cod is popular in many parts of Italy as well as almost every country, in Europe, with an extensive coastline.  I love the stuff but it's not readily available in the Midwest.  As for pairing it with a tomato based sauce, that also is pretty popular in a number of countries so neither of those things is out of the ordinary.  The only strange thing about your story is keeping it in the freezer.

How long you soak it will depend on the final product.  If I was serving a larger portion, or as a larger piece I would probably soak for 2 days with, at least, 4-5 water changes.  If I'm making fish cakes or Brandade (my favorite use for salt cod) then I want a bit more salt left in it, so I would probably only soak for 24 hours with2-3 changes of water.

Good advice I wish I had read sooner! Over-rinsed for my intended dish I think. It needed to be super salty.
post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pepper Grind View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by flipflopgirl View Post

Here is the first of many threads obtained per the search option on Chef Talk.
The key words were salt cod.
 
Bacalao - salted cod ideas?
started on 01/17/15 last post 01/20/15 at 5:34am 11 replies 266 views


mimi

Thanks for the link! When I told my newfie friend about adding milk, he was all "huh?" Hee hee

 

 

You are welcome.

Why would someone choose milk over water to prep salt preserved cod (my mom used to do this with fresh venison stating it made it less gamey?)

It wasn't until I had my own place and was cooking the game I bagged did I discover the true flavor of the meat.

Found I loved it.

More depth of flavor and all that.

 

mimi

post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeneMachine View Post

Apart from removing some salt, you need to soak it simply to rehydrate it somewhat. A proper salt cod is hard enough to hammer in a nail with it.

Yeah, actually, its kind of a neat process to bring something back to life simply by adding water. It reminded me of the first time I played with dried shitake mushrooms.
post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koukouvagia View Post

Adding bacon should be fine, as long as you remove most of the salt from the fish.  You wouldn't want salty fish with bacon, yuck you may as well just stick your head in a bowl of salt.  

There are many dishes with tomatoes for salt cod.  I've made it every way possible, one of my favorites is as fish n chips, as far as I'm concerned it's the best fish for that dish.

If you've never heard of tomatoes then what were you going to do with it?


Here are some of my favorite dishes with salt cod:
Cod stew


A similar cod stew with the addition of chard.


Cod cakes
*

Brandade croquettes


Your pictures are beautiful! To answer your question, the only recipe I had ever considered for salt cod was fish n brews (fish and hard tack.) I didn't know it was used in other things until I bought it.
post #17 of 19
Thread Starter 
I
Quote:
Originally Posted by flipflopgirl View Post


You are welcome.
Why would someone choose milk over water to prep salt preserved cod (my mom used to do this with fresh venison stating it made it less gamey?)
It wasn't until I had my own place and was cooking the game I bagged did I discover the true flavor of the meat.
Found I loved it.
More depth of flavor and all that.

mimi
I agree 100%. Made some amazing stews and stroganoff this way with my game. I don't question things much when it works. I just let it do its magic.
post #18 of 19

Northern Bavarian recipe for salt cod - very simple peasant cooking, traditionally served on Good Friday here:

 

Water the cod, then simmer it for 25 minutes. Brown onions and bacon in a pan, toast slices of wheat bread. Layer the cod, bread and onion in a pan, season with pepper. Stir some eggs into the cooking liquid from the cod and pour it over. Bake in the oven. Simple, but clean and delicious.

post #19 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeneMachine View Post

Northern Bavarian recipe for salt cod - very simple peasant cooking, traditionally served on Good Friday
here

Water the cod, then simmer it for 25 minutes. Brown onions and bacon in a pan, toast slices of wheat bread. Layer the cod, bread and onion in a pan, season with pepper. Stir some eggs into the cooking liquid from the cod and pour it over. Bake in the oven. Simple, but clean and delicious.

Yes , sounds like a similar version of what I was trying to do. The addition of eggs and baking technique is new though, but probably be delicious that way. Thanks!
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