Portuguese Baked Cod (Bacalhau) in Stewed Tomatoes


This is actually the first meal I had in Lisbon, Portugal back in December of 2008. Never forgot that meal. The traditional version is made from dried, salted cod simmered in a rich tomato stew. Seeing as I have no salted cod on hand, and considering the fact that I am way too lazy and last minute to salt and brine fish 24 hours ahead of time, I went ahead and made it from fresh cod. Er, and by fresh I mean thawed flash frozen cod fillets. And canned tomatoes. And poblanos that I roast in bulk and always keep in my freezer.  Yea yea.. I was a little short on time to get dinner on the table today.

PORTUGUESE BAKED COD:

  • 2-3 fillets of cod (brined or fresh)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 roasted poblano, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1 tbs parsley
  • salt pepper
  • pat of butter

Pat fillets dry and salt/pepper both sides. Set aside. In a 2-3 qt pot, melt a generous pat of butter. Saute onions 2-3 min, then add poblanos and garlic. Add a generous sprinkle of salt, the bay leaf, and parsley. Continue to saute until soft ~5 min. Add tomatoes and its juices (and a dash of fish stock or chicken stock if still too dry), bring to a boil, then immediately reduce to a low simmer. Salt to taste if needed, then cover and simmer for 15-20 min. Preheat oven to 325F. Pour tomato mixture into a deep baking pan (I used a 9” pyrex pie pan). Nest the fillets in the pan, baste and top with tomato/onion mixture. Bake for ~30 min, flipping once, or until fish flakes and is no longer transparent.

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