The Faithful Friend – Cod
To the majority of Portuguese people, Cod fish is known as a faithful friend. It is the most important food staple and it has become specially popular among the upper class.
If you know anything about Portuguese cuisine you will know that bacalhau (salted cod) is an obsession. We believe there are thousands of ways of preparing this delicious cured fish which is as close as one can get to a national dish.
One of the classics amongst the 1001 bacalhau recipes that guide the Portuguese through each calendar year is the “Bacalhau no forno com batatas a murro” (Cod with baked potatoes punched open”. Sounds strange, right? But it’s delicious.

This way of cooking cod intensifies its salty flavour and produces an irresistible sauce resulting from the mix of olive oil, garlic and the cod juices. Accompanying the cod is a bed of spring greens and the obligatory “batatas a murro”, baked potatoes, punched open just before serving.

Here’s how you prepare it:

Ingredients

2 soaked cod steaks (from the thicker sections of the cod) – split in two halves for serving
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil

8 cloves of garlic
1 bunch of spring greens
10 small potatoes
1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
Sea salt

Method

1. Wash potatoes thoroughly, place them on a roasting tray and sprinkle liberally with sea salt. Bake in a medium/hot oven. 

2. Place the cod steaks (skin side down) on a baking tray lined generously with olive oil, cover with finely chopped garlic and pour the remaining olive oil over the cod.

3. Bake potatoes and cod for about an hour, turning the potatoes and basting the cod with the oil once. 

4. Five minutes before the cod and potatoes are ready, boil the greens in salted water, add the bicarbonate of soda (this will make them keep a bright green colour while helping achieve a tender texture).  Once cooked, drain in a colander.

5. Serve the cod on a bed of greens, punch open the potatoes and pour the flavoured olive oil from the baking tray.

Great recipe for entertaining family and friends!