19 November 2010

Peppers stuffed with saltfish and chorizo

Saltfish. What other un-tinned fish can just sit in your cupboard waiting for a chill evening and a keen hand to remove and ready it for the pot? Nocturnally hydrated it is ready to lend its bounce to soups, salads, patties and pastes. Cookbooks sometimes stress how expensive saltcod is and how its availability is limited to Spanish and Italian delis. There is a simple way to get around both problems that they never seem to mention - get down to a local market with a Caribbean stall and fill your boots. I got three packets of saltfish (it's pollock but I guess we shouldn't be eating cod anyway right?) for five pounds.

There is a recipe in the second Moro book suggesting stuffing spicy peppers with saltfish and I admit that it was the idea for this combination. But nothing was taken so so I'm claiming this one as a SD, ON (near) original!

    • 400g saltfish
    • six spring onions or a similar amount of onion or shallots
    • 100g chorizo
    • 2 medium cooked potatos
    • five peppers
    • dried chilli, garlic, cumin

Hydrate and desalinate the saltfish either by soaking overnight or boiling from a coldwater start a couple of times or until it tastes acceptably (un)salty. In the last boil put the potatoes in to cook cut into small chunks. When fish and potato are ready mash together in a bowl.

Meanwhile soften the onions with plenty of garlic in a pan and add the chroizo to colour. Add chilli flakes, cumin  and black pepper to taste. Allow all to cook for a couple of minutes and lubricate with plenty of olive oil. When this mixture is ready combine with the saltfish and potatos and correct seasoning. Stuff this into the peppers and bake for forty-five minutes in a moderate oven until the peppers have started to break down and blacken on top. I had a few tomatoes in the mix too.

For a salad I made a lovely Moro one - blanched cauliflower, chickpeas and preserved lemons dressed with olive oil thick with cumin seed and chopped coriander. This is a wonderful salad that should be made as often as possible.

We had it with pittas.


  1. Oh yum - I've got to start using saltfish in my cooking! This looks fantastic!

  2. We bought some salt cod in Spain and it is a very different beast; plump, bouncy and lovely. For these purposes though Caribbean saltfish works great - I love the stuff.

  3. Cheers for the tip Lizzie - I have usually done Caribbean type stuff with saltfish rather than Italian/Spanish type dishes, so need to do some more things. Quite fancy a bake with saltcod, potatoes, cream, garlic and parsley...

  4. Thanks for this new way to use Salt Fish (and chorizo too) which we love, having been introduced to it by Caribbean friends one of whom makes great Salt Fish Cakes.
    It is always worth getting the skinless & boneless fillets rather than paying less and having to fiddle around. If I have a pack that has been in the cupboard for a while I have found it freezes well. I usually buy the pack you have pictured (in Walthamstow High St actually) - I pay 3 for £1 too. However I have recently seen it on the shelf in both Sainsbury and ASDA - not necessarily the same brand. Salt Cod always seems to be available but much more expensive: as you say the pollack is fine, cheaper and better ethically so I go for it all the time. If you want to salt your own fish there is a good and simple method in Rick Stein's 'Taste of the Sea'.
    I will be trying this - thanks!
    'Meanderings through my Cookbook'

  5. Cheers Hope.

    I always like hearing new ideas on saltfish cos I always have a couple of packs in the cupboard - I'm in E8 so just down the road from you! I made a saltfish gratin last night which was very nice but with the enxt pack I think maybe some spicy pattys like in your link. Thanks as ever for checking the blog.