For a southern European Christmas eve repast, I have teamed salt cod with prawn tortellini. Home salted cod is not quite the same thing as the real thing but it does produce the same firm fish flakes. It can be deep fried, in a light batter, fried or made into croquettes, as I suggest here. The sauce makes a lovely contrast in terms of flavour, colour and texture.
20g sea salt
100g cooked mashed potato
salt and pepper
3 large red peppers
1 red onion
2 cloves of garlic
200g baby or small plum tomatoes
4tbsp olive oil
breadcrumbs or crackers finely crushed in a bag with a rolling pin
100cl sunflower oil
1. The day before, place the cod in a plastic box and sprinkle over the salt. Weigh it down so the salt is pushed into the fish and place in the fridge.
2. The next day, wash off the salt and replace the cod in the plastic container with fresh water. Rinse the fish under running water after an hour or so. Repeat and drain the fish.
3. Place the red peppers in a roasting pan and place in a hot oven for 30-40 minutes until the peppers are blistering and beginning to turn black in places.
4. Chop the onion and garlic finely and fry until soft.
5. Peel the red peppers when they are cool enough to handle and process with the onion and garlic.
6. Coarsely process the fish, 1 egg, the potato, parsley, salt and pepper.
7. Create croquette shapes 6cms long and 3cms in girth. Beat two of the eggs and place in a bowl.
8. Saute the tomatoes in olive oil and when they are beginning to soften add the red pepper puree. Stop cooking and keep warm while you cook the croquettes.
9. Dip the croquettes in the beaten egg and then in the breadcrumbs or crushed crackers.
10. Deep fry in hot oil. Drain and place on kitchen towel to absorb surplus oil.
11. Place two or three croquettes on each place and alongside them a small pool of the sauce.