Meatless Fridays have been the tradition in Catholic countries for many centuries. During that time, the Spanish have observed Lent, eating meatless dishes, and they developed a wide variety of salt cod fish or "bacalao" recipes. Even though today salting fish is not needed to preserve it, the traditional salted "bacalao" dishes remain popular - because they taste great! First, soak the cod in water for 24 to 48 hours to leach out the salt, then prepare with accompanying sauces - tomato sauce, or paprika sauce, vegetables in wine sauce.
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This is a good recipe for beginner cooks because it is simple. First, fry the fresh cod fish, then prepare a sauce made of smokey Spanish paprika, vinegar, and lemon juice. The paprika in the sauce makes this a very colorful and aromatic dish, and a good main course, especially for Lent. Serve with plain rice or home-fried potatoes.
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Bacalao al Pil Pil is a traditional Basque dish but is well known all over Spain. It is simply made with salt cod (bacalao in Spanish), thin slices of garlic and olive oil.