Sunday, December 26, 2010

Bacalhau com Natas (salted cold with cream sauce)

Growing up every year for Christmas Eve our traditional Portuguese dinner was, boiled bacahau, boiled potatoes, and steamed broccoli rabe. While it is a traditional Portuguese dish, it's not one that I'm fond of.

Since getting married and now hosting Christmas Eve each year this is the recipe that I tend to make each year. I tend only to make it once a year because It's loaded with tons of calories, but the way I see it...if you're going to indulge it might as well be during the holidays!

I hope you call enjoy it as much as we do! Happy cooking!

Recipe Adapted from my mother's kitchen

5lbs. salt cod, (thinker pieces are best)
3 large yellow onion, peeled and sliced thin
5 tbsp. olive oil (this is to saute the onions)
5 lbs. potatoes, (peeled and cut into fries)
2 cups milk
8 tbsp unsalted butter
3 tbsp flour
ground pepper to taste
salt to taste
2 cups heavy cream (told you this was loaded with calories)


Soak the cod in water for 24-48 hours in several changes of cold water.

Drain the cod, rinse, and drain again.

Boil cod, once cooked remove from water and let cool to room temp.

Once cool, remove bones and skin and pull the cod into small shreds, set aside.

In a heavy skillet over low heat, saute the onion in olive oil until soft and golden.

In your deep fryer, fry the potatoes in the oil until they are tender, they do not need to be golden because you will be making them.

As soon as the onions are softly golden, lower heat to the lowest heat, and mix in the cod and 1 cup milk, mix everything together stirring occasionally, for about 10 min.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over moderate heat and blend in the flour, add the remaining milk and heat , stirring constantly , until thickened.

Blend in the pepper and reserve.

preheat the oven to 400.

Take your baking casserole dish and layer have half cod mixture in the bottom.

Take half your fries and layer that on top.

Then take half the cream sauce and pour over the fries.

Repeat the last 3 steps.

Finally pour heavy cream over the top of prepared casserole and top with panko bread crumbs.

Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.

Serve hot.

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