Looking for the best? ovos de bacalhau

Looking for the best?-thats what the label said, and I only wanted the best to fulfil a mission.Rootlin´ through a shoe box of old letters and papers recently I stumbled upon this gem of my dear mum´s recipe for smoked cods roe pate.Boy did I used to love it.

It got me thinking, as it would, but for more than just the sentimentality. By the grace of cod  I am going to bring alive your recipe and what better time and place to do it than here and now where I have settled in the land of Bacalhau-Portugal.
In Portugal, it is said that there are more than 365 ways to cook bacalhau, Cod almighty! 365 Cod recipes - one for every day of the year; others say there are 1,001 ways. Cod´struth! Whatever the exact number, Bacalhau can be considered the iconic ingredient of Portuguese cuisine (but curiously the only fish that is not consumed fresh by this fish-loving nation). Salt cod has been produced for at least 500 years, since the time of the European discoveries of the New World. Before refrigeration, obviously there was a need to preserve the codfish;drying,salting and.... canning are ancient techniques to preserve nutrients and the process makes the codfish tastier.Along with extended shelf life and tastiness, faith propelled the popularity of salt cod. Catholics,like my dear mother who observed meatless days, needed a stockpile of fish for their meat-free meals. The one that they chose was Bacalhau. Portugal wasn’t alone in its use of this preserved fish. Italy, Spain, the Caribbean and parts of France, South America and Africa all had recipes calling for salt cod. Yet only one exhibited this passion for its fiel amigo or faithful friend.The Portuguese love their food…seriously love it. The Portuguese have an obsession with salt cod,  …..I like it, but not that much.However mission accomplished, I brought mums treasure back to life and on Thursday night gave it a life cooling experience. Casa Rosada received a visit from a journalist commissioned to write a story about us for Life cooler and I served up the best of my Algarve culinary re-inventions  to thank him for his visit and give him some modern Algarvian tastes to take home with him to Lisboa.

Hope this does justice to your recipe mum?
Pate ovos de Bacalhau
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
120g (6oz) tin ovos de Bacalhau (Cods roe)
1 soup spoon lemon juice
1 soup spoon light soya sauce
1 soup spoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon heavy cream
Put the cods roe in a food processor and pulse to break up.
Add the lemon juice, soya sauce and balsamic,process again.
Add the butter and cream and process again.
Put in a pate dish or tupperware and leave in the refrigerator to chill.
Be careful not to over process the cream or the mixture may separate.


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