Recipe: Catalan Salt Cod and Vegetable Stew

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It’s fucking freezing out so I decided that something hot and comforting was in order. Spanish cuisine is one of my passions and this recipe is something I cribbed from a Spanish chef that you may not have heard of but you should know about, Ferran Adria. Adria is widely considered the greatest culinary mind in the world. This dish is a very simple stew that again proves the central thesis of this blog. Simple is almost always best, but it also affords you nowhere to hide your mistakes. So take off your parka and get cooking.

Ingredients:

1.5 lbs of rehydrated Salt Cod*

2 Zucchini (Quartered in 3/4 inch sections)

1 Egg plant (Peeled and Cubed in 3/4 inch cubes.)

4 Red and Yellow Peppers (julienned)

2 cloves Garlic (diced)

1 large Onion (diced)

1 can Diced Tomatoes

Olive Oil

Sunflower Oil

Directions:

In a roasting pan lay out your zucchini and egg plant and cover them in sunflower oil, salt and pepper. Roast those in a 400 oven for 15 minutes. You’re looking to get the veggies some nice colour. In a pot you want to sweat your onions and garlic in the olive oil. Then put your peppers, again cooking those down. Then add your roasted zucchini and eggplant along with any juices that collect in the roasting pan. The eggplant will begin to turn a little slimy. This isn’t a bad thing, it will actually thicken the stew in a really great way. You then want to add your tomatoes and simmer everything for about an hour. After the simmering you can add pieces of the salt cod. I used pieces of fish about the size of my finger and simmered them in the stew for about five minutes before serving. I like serving this with some farro and a nice piece of bread to mop with. Enjoy!

*Salt Cod is literally North Atlantic cod which has been preserved by packing the fish in salt. Before refrigeration it was the best method of preserving fish. It is also known as bakala or bacalhau in Italy/Spain/Portugal. The Fish also needs to be rehydrated for between 24 and 48 hours in water or milk. You must also change your liquid every 6 hours.