While my mother was visiting we spent some time cooking, I love Portuguese food and don’t get to eat it very often because the ingredients are hard to come by. One of my favourite Portuguese dishes is caldo de funcho, or fennel soup. You might be saying fennel isn’t hard to come by but you’d be wrong. I need fennel tops and you just can’t find fennel with the tops still on here!!
Another dish I love is salted cod. When I went to the Azores last summer I brought home some salted cod so had some in the freezer. My mom had come to the UK with a friend (Angie-Honey) of hers whose son also lives here. Because they live in Sussex and the return flight was at 6am Angie-Honey spent the night. We cooked a big Portuguese meal for her, her son and daughter in-law. None of these dishes were weight Watcher’s friendly but hey ho!
Preheat oven 200C
2 bay leaves
3 pieces of salted cod ( soaked for 12 hours, changing the water often)
1 onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
100 ml olive oil
2 carrots, grated
1 kilo potatoes
200 mls single cream
Parsley, finely chopped
1 cup bread crumbs
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Bring a pot of water to a boil with 2 bay leaves, add the cod and cook for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes turn off burner and let cod cool in pot with the water.
In another pot bring water to boil and cook potatoes. Once the potatoes are cooked mash them and put aside until needed.
While the cod is cooling grate the carrots, mince the garlic and finely chop the onion. Sautée the garlic and onions in the olive oil. add the grated carrots and sautée well.
Take the cod out of the water (saving water for later) and break it into bits, removing the skin and all bones, add 2.5 mls of the cod water to the cod and let it soak. Mix the parsley, cream, salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Take all the ingredients and mix well and put in a baking dish. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the salted cod mixture. Grate fresh Parmesan over the dish and place in a preheated oven for 20 minutes.
A few things I would do differently:
I would roughly chop the carrots. I would also roughly chop the potatoes. I think the dish was a little too homogenous. I prefer the ingredients to be more whole. Does tht make sense? I would also use low fat creme fraiche and I’d use an oil substitute in an effort to make it a bit more Weight Watcher’s friendly.
If you want to try this recipe you can buy some salted cod from The Fish Society