Jan 15, 2012

Bacalao Guisada - Codfish stew with Casava

Growing up I hated fish! I never understood why the adults seemed so excited at even the mention of seafood dishes. This gluten free dish was a childhood favorite for me but that's because my abuelita called it white meat! 
 I never knew this was a fish at all.  I remember my mom would say abuelita cooked white meat and I would get so happy. What makes this dish even more appetizing now is that it is that not only is it delicious, and comforting but it is also low in calories. I put the bacalao guisado over yuca (casava) which is a root vegetable and another vegetable I hated growing up....OK so I have evolved, I love this dish!     

Bacalao Guisado - Codfish stew 

Ingredients: Codish

  • 1 lb dried Codfish
  • 3 medium tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/3 cup Cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp Manzanilla Olives
  • 1 Tbsp Capers
  • 4-5 chopped Galic Cloves
  • 2 Tbsp Sofrito
  • 4 oz tomatoe sauce
  • 2 tbsp extra virgen olive olive
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup of water
Preparation:  The first thing you need to do is remove the salt from the Codfish.  This can be accomplished in 2 ways.  You can soak it in cold water for 24 hours and change the water 3 to 4 times.  I never remember to soak, so I boil it in water and after it boils I change the water with fresh cold water and boil again. I do this 3 times.  This usually removes the perfect amount of salt without removing it all. There have been times when it still tasted a bit salty so I recommend tasting it after the third boil and if you think it could use another boil then go for it. I like a little salt....but if you remove too much you could always add a little table salt.  
Now you have to shred the bacalao.  I recommend you let it sit for awhile until it cools because this makes the shredding easier. When it's hot it doesn't come apart too easy. If you let it cool it's less effort. Your plate should look like this once shredded....

In a large skillet, add 2 tbsp of olive oil and saute the onions and garlic until the onions are translucent about 3-5 minutes . Add all of the remaining ingredients except the bacalao and saute for another 10 minutes or so, just to bring out the flavors of your seasonings....by know that smell should be intoxicating!
Now add your bacalao and your black pepper, cover your pan and simmer for another for another 10-15 minutes on low heat. This dish should be served hot and juicy.  So check your dish occasionally and add a little water as needed.  I ended up adding about 1/2 cup of water when all was said and done but this is a preference.  When you do add water let it simmer for a minute or so before serving.        

Preparation: Casava  
To make the casava all you do is peel it like you would a pineapple.  Holding it up and peeling downwards.  one casava can feed 2 people since they are quite large, but I guess that depends on what your idea of a serving is....my husband eats a whole one by himself! 
I usualy cut them either in halves or thirds if they are very large.  In a pot bring water and a tbsp of salt to a boil.  add the casava and cook about 20 mintes.  they should be tender when poked with a fork.  drain and set aside.  Try not to make them to far ahead of the bacalao because they tend to change color when their left out, similar to a potatoe.  

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