I love salt cod but almost always make it into fritters and serve with loads of alioli. This recipe is based on the classic Basque dish bacalao al ajoarriero where the fish is usually flaked into the sauce. I like to keep the pieces whole and serve the sauce on the side. Make sure you get nice thick cod loin not the tail ends and remember to change the soaking water 3 - 4 times otherwise the fish will still be overly salty.
600g salt cod, cut into pieces and soaked for 24 hours
1 red chilli, thinly sliced
2 - 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 lemon, cut into wedges
roughly chopped parsley
Cook the fish in a pan of boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain and pat dry.
Heat 2cm or so of olive oil in a large frying pan and cook the garlic and chilli for few seconds until golden. Tip into a bowl then quickly lift out the chilli and garlic with a fork and drain on kitchen paper. Spoon a tablespoon or two of the oil back into the hot pan (keep the rest of the chilli-garlic oil and use for frying eggs or whatever you like).
Fry the fish in the hot pan for 5 minutes or so on each side until crispy and golden. Fry the lemon wedges at the same time. Place the fish on plates, scatter with the garlic, chilli and parsley and serve with lemon wedges on the side.
Tomato and egg sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 tsp smoked paprika
4 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 eggs, beaten
Heat the oil in a small pan and cook the onion for a few minutes until softened. Add the paprika, cook for a minute more. Add the tomatoes and simmer together for 15 minutes or so until pulpy. Whizz with a hand blender until smooth then return to the heat and mix in the beaten eggs, stirring for a couple of minutes or so until the egg is cooked and the suace has a lovely velvety texture.