A superb "tapa" from the North of Spain, Pimientos Rellenos de Bacalao is very popular. Sweet and tasty roasted piquillo peppers are stuffed with a mixture of salt cod, white wine, onions and garlic, then dipped in egg and flour, and lightly fried and covered in a tomato sauce. It is worth the hour that it takes to prepare this "tapa"!
- For the Stuffing & Peppers:
- 1 pound salt cod
- 1 potato
- 1 1/2 onions
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1-2 tablespoons fresh parsley (chopped)
- 6 ounces white wine
- 1/2 bay leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 4 ounces virgin olive oil
- 15-20 piquillo peppers
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1/2 cup flour (for coating peppers)
- For the Sauce:
- 12 ounces canned tomatoes (crushed)
- 1/4 cup onion (finely chopped)
- 1 clove garlic (chopped)
- 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika (pimenton)
- Salt to taste
- Rinse salt cod under cold water to remove any caked salt from the outside.
- Cut cod into small pieces – about 1 to 1.5 inches.
- Place fish in a glass baking dish and cover with water.
- Place in refrigerator and soak for at least 24 hours, changing the water 2-3 times.
- Pour out water and place fish in a colander, rinsing the pieces of fish under the faucet.
- Allow to drain for 5 minutes, then pat dry with a paper towel and place on a plate.
- Peel and finely chop the onion. Heat a large, heavy bottom frying pan and add a few tablespoons of olive oil. When hot, add onion and sauté until translucent.
- Add codfish to frying pan and cook, stirring often. Fish will have absorbed water while soaking and will release it in the pan. Cook fish for about 15 minutes.
- Take the pan off the stove and use a fork to break fish into small flakes. Remove bones.
- Boil potato with skin until cooked. Run under cold water, and when it is cool enough to touch, peel. Cut potato into pieces and smash with a fork.
- Add wine, chopped garlic, potato, bay leaf, minced parsley, and nutmeg. Mix and cook on medium low until wine is reduced and the mixture is not watery.
- Remove from stove and allow to cool about 5-10 minutes. Remove bay leaf.
- While the fish mixture is cooling, prepare the tomato sauce.
- In a medium frying pan, sauté onion in a few teaspoons of olive oil. When onion is translucent, add chopped garlic and continue to sauté for 2-3 minutes, careful not to burn the garlic. Sprinkle with the paprika and add the crushed tomatoes.
- Cook on low to medium-low for about 10 minutes and then remove from the stove.
- Carefully spoon cod mixture into piquillo peppers and set on a plate. The peppers can tear easily, so use a small spoon to fill them gently.
- Pour approximately 1-inch olive oil into a large frying pan for frying and begin to heat on medium.
- Beat eggs in a small bowl for dipping. Spread out flour on a plate or in a bowl.
- When oil is hot enough, one-by-one, dip peppers into beaten egg, then cover in flour and fry until golden, turning once.
- Remove and drain on a paper towel.
- Arrange peppers on a platter and spoon tomato sauce over them and serve.
- If there is extra tomato sauce, serve on the side.
|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Total Fat||33 g|
|Saturated Fat||5 g|
|Unsaturated Fat||22 g|
|Dietary Fiber||10 g|