Bacalao al Ajo Arriero
Dried Cod with Tomatoes and Peppers
There are many dishes, both fish and meat, that are described as al ajo arriero; what they all have
in common are vinegar, garlic, and paprika. In this version, the contrasting tastes of the sweet
vegetables and the dried cod are winning. This dish often calls for shredded cod, but in this
version, it is left whole. It will, however, break into large pieces as it cooks.
Adapted from Delicioso by Penelope Casas
• 2 pounds dried boneless salt cod
• 3 medium-large potatoes, peeled, cut in 3/4-inch cubes
• Olive oil to sprinkle on potatoes
• 2 red bell peppers
• 2 green bell peppers
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 6 cloves garlic, peeled
• Leaves of 6 sprigs parsley
• Flour for dusting
• 6 cloves garlic, in thin slices
• 2 teaspoons imported sweet paprika
• 4 medium tomatoes grated on a box grater
• 1 bay leaf
• 5 tablespoons wine vinegar
• Kosher salt to taste
Soak cod in cold water to cover in refrigerator overnight, changing water once or twice, until desalted to taste. Drain and dry on paper towels.
Toss the cubed potatoes with olive oil and salt and pepper in a greased roasting pan. Put the peppers on another pan and place both in a 375F oven. Cook peppers for about 35 minutes, turning once, or until the skin separates from the peppers; cook potatoes about 50 minutes, turning occasionally. Put peppers in a plastic bag to steam, then cool, peel, core, seed, and cut into long strips.
In the meantime, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large shallow skillet and saute the whole garlic until lightly golden. Add parsley and saute a second to soften. Transfer garlic and parsley to a mortar or mini-processor and reserve.
Dust cod with flour and quickly saute on both sides. Add the sliced garlic and cook until it begins to turn golden. Stir in the paprika, then add the tomatoes, roasted peppers, and bay leaf. Cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes.
Mash the reserved garlic and parsley to a paste, stir in vinegar, and add this mixture to the skillet. Add potatoes; cover, and cook slowly 10 minutes. Taste for salt.