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.