Bacalaítos Fritos con Bacalao Guisado (Codfish Fritters with Cod Salsa)
Salt cod does double duty in this fritter topped with piquant cod salsa.
Yield: makes 12 fritters
- 1 1⁄2 lb. salt cod
- 1 cup plus 1 tbsp. canola oil
- 1⁄2 tsp. achiote seeds
- 1⁄4 cup sofrito
- 1⁄2 cup whole, peeled, canned tomatoes in juice, crushed
- 3 plum tomatoes, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 1⁄2 cups flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 4 sprigs cilantro, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- To make salsa, place cod in a 2-qt. saucepan, and cover by 2″ with cold water; boil for 20 minutes. Drain cod, return to saucepan, and repeat process twice more. Transfer cod to a bowl, and flake with a fork into large chunks; set aside. Heat 1 tbsp. oil and achiote in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat until oil turns red; remove and discard achiote. Add sofrito, tomatoes, bay leaf, and salt and pepper; cook until thickened, about 15 minutes. Add two thirds of the cod; cook for 5 minutes. Let cool.
- To make batter, whisk flour, baking powder, cilantro, and garlic in a bowl. Stir in remaining cod and 1 ½ cups water until smooth. Heat remaining oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, pour ¼ cup batter into skillet; cook, flipping once, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Drain fritters; top with salsa to serve.