- Julianna Sweeney
Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá
This traditional Portuguese meal is one of my all time favorites!
Some Trivia: On Good Friday (known as Sexta-Feira Santa in Portuguese), most households will refrain from eating meat. This comes from the Catholic tradition of fasting from meat on Fridays during the liturgical season of lent. Instead, most families eat fish - usually a yummy bacalhoada (a salted cod dish).
According to the Portuguese, there are about 365 different ways to cook bacalhau. As you can imagine, there are many different recipes for preparing it.
This particular recipe, Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá, is a beloved part of the bi-monthly rotation at my grandma's (avó's) house. Being immigrants, my grandparents hold many traditions close. Growing up in a costal fishing town in Portugal, they love to eat fish just as much as meat. Despite its outwardly intricate appearance, with only 9 ingredients, this dish is so easy to make!
1 lb Bacalhau (salted Cod) - If you have a local Portuguese Market, I definitely recommend going there. Otherwise, you might be able to source some from a fish market. If all else fails, you can order it online and have it shipped directly to you. *Make sure that it is skinless and boneless*
Potatoes (enough to cover the bottom of the dish) - It's up to you which kind you use. My avó uses either russets or Yukon Golds. For this batch, I used the petite, tri-color potatoes.
2-4 eggs - Typically one per person you are making the dish for
2 onions - Yellow or Spanish onions... both work just fine!
1 - 1 1/2 cups Extra Virgin Olive oil - A LOT of it
1/2 cup Olives - Black, Kalamata, or Portuguese Galega olives will do
3-4 cloves fresh garlic
Sea salt (to taste)
Fresh parsley (to garnish)
First and foremost, you're gonna want to plan a few days ahead. This recipe is suuuuper easy and quick once it comes to cooking but first thing's first... you gotta soak that bacalhau for 2-3 days to get all that salt out. *Make sure you change the water 1-2 times per day*
Once your cod is ready, cut it into personal pieces and set aside. It's time to start cooking!
You can start by thinly slicing your onions and garlic. Set them to the side. You're also going to want to cut your potatoes (if they are not petites). Preheat the oven for 425 degrees.
Start by boiling some water in a pot - this is for your potatoes and eggs. Be sure to add some salt to the water for taste. While your potatoes and eggs are boiling, you're gonna want to get another pan going on medium heat with about 3/4 cup of olive oil. Once the oil is heated, place the onions and garlic in the pan and fry until lightly golden and slightly crispy.
Keep an eye on the potatoes - once they are tender (you can always use the tried and true fork-test), you are going to want to carefully remove the eggs, using tongs or a spoon. Place them in a separate bowl (we'll get back to those later). Turn off the burner and drain the water. (**Optional: once the potatoes cool, you can either leave the skin on or peel it off. I kept it on for my dish, but my avó always peels it off).
Next, take your tray and lightly line it with olive oil. Place your potatoes in the tray to cover the bottom, then take your bacalhau and place it evenly on top of the potatoes. Lastly, you're gonna want to pour that yummy onion/garlic/oil mixture all over the top of the dish. Place in the oven on the middle or lower rack and let it bake for a good 25 mins.
Before taking it out of the oven, move it to the top shelf and Broil it on high for about 3 mins to crisp up the top a little bit (keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn't burn). Then take it out and leave it on the stove... It's time for garnish!
Peel those eggs you put to the side earlier, slice them carefully to keep the white and yolk both in tact. You can then evenly place them on the top of the dish. It's also time to top the dish with olives. Next, Rinse some of that fresh parsley, pick it into small pieces and sprinkle over the top. The last thing you're gonna want to do is drizzle some more olive oil on top.
Guess what... you did it! The only thing you've got left to do is serve and enjoy with your loved ones!
Let me know what you think by dropping a comment below! Enjoy!
Sending love always,