Portuguese Cooking - salt cod and cream

As Mrs TK has been so busy selling houses I cannot get out of cooking the odd meal, it's that or taking her out. Which I do quite often, seeing that the chippie van now visits our area.

My labour of love today is a dish from my joint favourite country with France and that is Portugal. Not renowned for it's great food to too many people, but I was lucky enough to spend three years working there growing tomatoes, ( phew, managed to get tomato's in to my post) so I am a great aficionado of their wine and food.

I could have taken numerous pictures, taking you through every step of my hard work, but I am sure you will find it a lot easier to follow a great video by Sandro Vilar on Vimeo and there are plenty of other great recipes of hers on other videos.

There is just one tiny snag and that is that it is in Portuguese, which for me is fine, as it is far way above my level of French, but I am sure you will be able to follow the basics and I have added a link to the recipe in English  The only difference I noticed that Sandro added was the stock from boiling the cod, or bacalhau as they like to call it in Portugal.

Salt cod is available in most supermarkets here in France and you can find it on some restaurant menus, but and its a big but, the Portuguese have at least 365 ways to cook saltecod and it is one of the main foods of Portugal, so they do know what they are talking about.
Just remember to soak it in water for 24 hours, changing the water a number of times.

A few little tips before you start, and that is to firstly pour yourself a glass of wine, as most good cooks do, preferably Portuguese but French will do. While we are taking about wine, I will run through a very quick basic guide but trust me, I am no wine expert, I just enjoy drinking it. 

The Reds tended to be very dry, which can be a shock to the pallet after all the fruity new world wines that a lot of people have got used to, but with Portugal exporting more wines that they did in the past and have some influence from overseas wine blenders, some of the more modern wines are less dry, but  you cannot go wrong with Dao.

The Whites are crisp and fruity and some I find like the Dao white, have a little more body to them.

Vinho Verde is a young slightly fizzy wine, perfect for a lunch time drink on a hot day.  Rosé  made famous by Mateus Rosé  is also a great lunch time drink, although the Portuguese tend to export most of it and save the better ones for themselves.

Here is a useful link for more on Portuguese wines

Just to prove that I really did make the dish, here is my own creation, which we had with a Caesar Salad. 

Bacalhau com Natas  - Salted Cod with Cream link to recipe in English.

Bacalhau a Braz recipe 

Receita de Bacalhau com Natas (c/ Batata Frita) from Sandro Vilar on Vimeo.


  1. The blog contains informational and educational material. The post enhance my thoughts and experience. So nice!
    I've got to scramble to keep up with your prodigious output!

  2. I have thought about buying and using salt cod many times. I just keep thinking that in order to wash the salt away, much of the flavour will be gone too. Does it taste of fish without being too salty?

  3. Hi Matron
    You do really need to soak it for 24 hours changing the water quite a few times, if not you lose the salty flavour.
    The flavour remains and is fishy, but still quite salty. There is another recipe I like made with eggs, called Bacalhau a braz, a bit of a scrambled eggs dish, again very tasy.
    Just try it as its a bit like Marmite, you love it or hate it.
    Mrs TK had is in a restaurant in France, just on its's own, boiled. She didn't really like it, but really loved it when I cooked it.


Post a Comment

We will not post anonymous comments