The Recipe - Cape Verdean Cod Casserole

Cape Verdean Salt Cod Casserole

As Clarice Pinto and Lucy Pires from Santiago, Cape Verde, taught Lindsay Sterling in Brockton, Massachusetts, April 2015. Recipe adapted slightly to avoid msg, which was in a couple of pre-prepared spice mixtures they used.

Cooking Time: 1 hour + 24 hours soaking the salt cod
Servings: 10

1 1/2 lb. salt cod
2 1/2 lb potatoes
3 eggs
1/2 cup olive oil
1 onion sliced into 1/4" rounds
1/4 tomato sliced into 1/4" rounds
1 small bunch cilantro, rough chopped including stems and leaves
1/2 red pepper
4 cloves garlic chopped
1 tsp salt
dash chili powder
dash sweet paprika
dash annatto or achiote powder (optional)
2 tsp white pepper
1/2 cup pitted green olives
2 Tbsp butter
2 cups milk
1/2 cup cream
1 Tbsp corn starch

The night before cooking, soak the salt cod in water in the fridge over night.

Peel the potatoes and cut into 1" chunks, cover with water. You can hardboil the eggs in the same pot you cook the potatoes. Bring to a boil and then simmer until potatoes are soft and eggs are hardboiled. Take the eggs out and peel them. Strain the potatoes.

Preheat the oven to 350.

In a large pot with 1/2 cup olive oil in it, saute the onions, tomato, cilantro, red pepper, yellow pepper, and garlic with all the spices (chili powder, paprika, annatto, and white pepper). When onions are soft, add the salt cod. Stir and cook until salt cod breaks down a little bit and turns kind of mushy. Then gently stir in the the potatoes.

In medium sauce pan, melt butter, whisk in corn starch, and then whisk in milk and cream. Heat on medium, stirring constantly, until the milk and cream thicken.

Spread the sauteed mixture evenly in an oven-safe casserole dish. Slice the eggs into 1/4" rounds. Decorate the top of the cod and potato mixture with green olives and slices of egg.

Pour the milk mixture over the whole thing. Bake for 40 minutes. Broil at the end so the top is slightly browned.

Copyright Lindsay Sterling 2015