Bacalao a la Viszcaina

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  • Makes 8 servings


  • 2 lb thick salt cod, desalted and cooked, cut into 2- by 3-inch pieces (reserve 4 cups of the soaking liquid)
  • flour for dredging
  • ½ cup pure Spanish olive oil
  • 4 medium-size all-purpose potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch slices
  • 3 pimentos, cut into strips
  • olives
  • fried bread rounds, as an accompaniment



  1. One day in advance of serving, rinse the salt cod under cold running water.
  2. Cut it into 2- by 3-inch pieces, place in a bowl, and cover with cold water.
  3. Change the water several times until it is no longer salty.
  4. This process should take 24 hours.
  5. Drain the fish, place it in a small saucepan, cover with fresh water, and bring to boil over medium-high heat.
  6. Lower the heat to low and simmer 5 minutes.
  7. Drain and cool the fish.
  8. Dredge the cod in the flour.
  9. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil until fragrant, then cook the fish until lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes on each side.
  10. Remove the fish from the heat and set aside.


  1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil until fragrant, then cook the bell peppers, stirring, until slightly softened, 3 to 4 minutes.
  2. Reduce the heat to low, add the garlic and onions, and cook, stirring, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes, adding more oil if necessary.
  3. Add the pimientos, tomatoes, paprika, and wine and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, another 10 to 12 minutes.
  4. Place the reserved salt cod soaking water in a medium-size saucepan over medium-high heat and cook the potato slices until partially tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Add the codfish chunks to the sofrito and cook over low heat 10 minutes.
  6. Arrange the cooked potato slices on top of the fish, do not stir, cover the pan, and shake it several times.
  7. Cook over low heat an additional 10 minutes so that the potatoes absorb the fish flavor.
  8. Transfer to a large serving platter and garnish with the pimientos.
  9. Serve with Pan Frito (fried bread rounds) and Arroz Blanco.