We all know the traditional combination of fish and chips, but what about fish and potato chips? That's what you get in the iconic Portuguese dish of Bacalhau A Bras, along with scrambled eggs. It sounds very weird and I was dubious but it's actually rather nice.
This was my first experience of using the classic Portuguese ingredient of salt cod. It comes covered in a thick crust of coarse salt.
It needs soaking for 24 hours in cold water before being used. Make sure you change the water regularly to remove the excess salt.
Bacalhau A Bras
600g salt cod
2 cloves of garlic
2tbsp olive oil
1 pack of Batata Palha (very thin chipsticks)
a handful of black olives
In a pan, bring some water to a gentle boil. As soon as the first bubbles start to appear, put in the salt cod (after soaking it for 24 hours - see above), put on a lid and turn off the heat. After 5 minutes, drain and break up the fish with a fork. Reserve.
In the same pan, heat the oil and fry the onion and garlic.
Add the fish and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes until it is all nicely coloured.
Add the potato chips and cook for 5 minutes with a lid on the pan. Stir regularly because they will start to stick to the bottom of the pan.
Beat the eggs and add them to the dish. Cook for a couple of minutes until they are just firm and serve, studded with black olives.
It's a strange combination but it works. The salt cod remains very salty so don't skimp on the pre-soaking !