Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Salt Cod Sandwiches - Cookbook Countdown

My introduction to Portuguese food - and salt cod - was in the form of pastéis de bacalhau, those fabulous crisp potato-cod fritters with the creamy interior. I'm cooking from The New Portuguese Table by David Leite this month, a cookbook I've owned for a while but haven't used much until recently, and there's a variation of this Portuguese favourite in it that includes shrimp - yum - but I wanted to try something different. Enter Mini Salt Cod Sandwiches, or the "o McSilva", a Portuguese chef's take on McDonald's Filet-O-Fish! I knew this would go over well with family.
For the patties, the salt cod, which was first soaked, cooked, boned and shredded, was bound by a batter of flour, egg and the cod's cooking water, and lightened with whipped egg white. Extra flavour came from garlic and cilantro. Fried in olive oil until crisp, the interior was moist and the fish flavour was quite mild.
Miraculous egg-free mayonnaise!
Next were the condiments: Sweet Red Pepper Jam, another recipe in the book, and tartar sauce. I cheated and used ketchup for the jam - the jam is for another day when red peppers are in season - but I did make the author's Milk Mayonnaise, a light, silky, egg-free, milk and oil emulsion that's an excellent canvas for whatever flavours you like. I combined it with sweet pickle relish and some capers for the tartar sauce.
Then came the bun. I used homemade buns that ended up larger than I intended so these weren't slider-sized but regular-sized sandwiches. If you like buns that have that soft, lofty white bread sort of crumb but are a little more wholesome, I highly recommend the King Arthur Flour recipe I used for Wheat-Oat-Flax Buns.

No surprise here but the o McSilva was a big hit!
I'm cooking from The New Portuguese Table this month in an effort to finally use some of the cookbooks I've collected over the years so I'm linking this post to Cookbook Countdown, the challenge that inspired it all, hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily's Cooking (Makan2) Foray.


  1. I am so going to look for salted cod fish now! Thanks for the introduction to milk-mayo! Awesome photos of an awesome meal!

  2. Hi Zosia,
    You have done it again! An incredible meal! Love your homemade buns! Salt cod is an ingredient which I have not seen over here, as I have a cookbook of Tessa Kiros which uses this ingredients in many of her recipes, and have been looking for salt cod ever since! Your salt cod patties looks beautifully made! I can see why it was a hit! Yums!

  3. Hi Zosia, I just love salted cod, mother all way made salted cod,she would soak it in water for a few days and changed the water evry day and then
    Sautéed some onions, garlic chopped small and added the cod and added some plain home made sauce and some herbs, black olives and cooked it on low - medium until it was ready��.and had it with a pices of homemade sourdough bread.


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