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Basque Salt Cod

  • 1kg (2lb.) Dried Salt Cod, soaked
  • 450g (1lb.) Onions, chopped
  • 1 x 400g (14oz.) tin Chopped Tomatoes
  • 200g (7oz.) tinned Pimentos
  • 25g (1oz.) stale Breadcrumbs
  • 25g (1oz.) freshly chopped Parsley
  • 150ml (5fl.oz.) Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp. Hot Chili Pepper
  • A little flour
  • Salt and Black Pepper

1. Drain the tinned tomatoes and chop them. Use a saucepan to heat 60ml (2fl.oz.) of oil, put the onions, tomatoes, garlic, chili pepper, freshly ground black pepper and a very little salt, and simmer until the mixture is very soft.

2. Preheat the oven to 375F or 190C, gas mark 5, and drain the salt cod. Use a saucepan to put the fish and cold water. Bring to the boil over a medium heat, and then barely simmer for about 3 minutes.

3. Use a spatula to remove the cod carefully and leave it gets cool for about 8 minutes. Skinning and boning the cod, cut it across into fingers 2.5cm (1in) wide, throw away any skin. Patting them, dry with kitchen paper, roll in flour and reserve.

4. Cook the sauce until it reduces a thick puree then adjust the seasoning, and use a shallow ovenproof dish to sieve half of the sauce. Sieve the remaining sauce on top after arrange the fish portions on the sauce.

5. Using the remaining oil, fry the breadcrumbs lightly, sprinkle the parsley over the top layer of sauce.

6. Slice the pimentos into thin strips after draining the pimentos. Arrange a pattern on top of the parsley and breadcrumbs, bake in the oven for about 7 minutes or until the surface is toasted without it becoming too brown.

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