This recipe is so simple. It is so humble. It is sooo easy...you can almost walk away, yet it is so meaningful...isn't that always the case. If you ask me about tradition, about a tradional Portuguese dish on a specific day...Then salt-cod boil takes the cake....most mainland Portuguese households will have this dish on Christmas Eve. Although octopus is a common substitute for the salt-cod, across the country. Leftovers on Christmas day are then turned into another Portuguese classic, Roupa Velha, which literally means old clothes. Terrible name for a dish, LOL, but very delicious. The islands of Madeira and Azores typically do not have salt-cod on Christmas Eve, opting instead for grilled marinated pork skewers, in Madeira and chicken in the Azores. Turkey and whole roasted "kid of goat" are also very traditional as you move from the North to the South of Portugal.
It frankly is boring. It isn't 'Haute Cuisine'. It isn't new, innovative
or glamorous. It is simply , boiled salt-cod, potatoes and greens with boiled eggs and if you are lucky....someone has had the sense of making the sauce just a bit more flavourful. I heat my olive oil in a small saucepan with crushed garlic
And I love it! Yup...I could eat it everyday. Why? Because some foods just lend themselves to certain partners. Salt-cod, onions, potatoes, eggs, olive oil, vinegar and garlic.....BLISS ON EARTH. So if you're lucky enogh to be Portuguese, married to one or have just been invited to dinner.... enjoy and Merry Christmas XOXOXO
Bacalhau da Consoada ❦ Christmas Eve's Salt Cod Dinner
6 Salt-Cod loins, Two days before serving, in a large bowl, soak the cod in cold water in the refrigerator, changing the water and rinsing the fish several times, for at least 48 hours. Drain and reserve.
2 k. Potatoes, for boiling, such as Red, Russet, Maris Piper or Fingerling, peeled and halved.
1 k. Greens, such as kale or spring greens
6 Eggs, large and preferably free range
4 Garlic cloves whole and gently crushed
400 ml. Extra virgin olive oil
4-6 tbsp. Red wine vinegar or to taste
Salt, to taste ( 2 tbsp. for boil)
Pepper, to taste and freshly ground
In a large stock pot, fill with water and salt. About 2 tbsp.
Add potatoes and bring to the boil. Once to the boil start to time. Lower heat to a simmer. Potatoes will take about 30-40, minutes to cook.
2. Let cook about 20 minutes, after 20 minutes, add cod and greens.
3. In a small sauce pan, add your eggs and fill with water. Bring to the boil, once boiling, turn off heat, cover and let sit 10 minutes, drain and rinse under cold water. Peel and reserve. This will produce soft boiled eggs.
4. In a small sauce pan, heat garlic and olive oil, on low heat. Let simmer gently to infuse oil with garlic. Keep warm, set aside.
4. After 20 minutes, lift cod, greens and potatoes from water with a slotted spoon. Do not dump into a strainer, fish and potatoes will break. Arrange on platter. Half eggs and place decoratively on platter. Serve with garlic infused olive oil and vinegar. Vinegar is a personal taste, so let each guest garnish as they please.