Some things fishy*

“Let me esplain; no, there is too much; let me sum up.”  Source. 

Cati made some excellent bacalao from some salt cured cod.  She made it; I helped.  We soaked the cod for 48 hours or so, changing the water three times to remove the salt.  The package said to soak for 24 hours and change the water 3 times, but what am I going to do?  Wake up in the middle of the night to change the water?  Pfft, not hardly. 

The important thing to do here is change the water 3 times; otherwise the fish will be super salty and inedible.  After soaking, and patting dry, we dipped the fish in a beaten egg and then dragged the fish through flour.  We then pan fried the fish in olive oil.  After all the fish filets were fried, Cati made a Spanish “sofrito.”  Sofrito is a sauce made from sautéed garlic, onion, and peeled and chopped tomatoes.  (Note: the tomatoes are easier to peel if they are not refrigerated, and easier still if you blanch them for about ten seconds.)  We added salt to taste, and sometimes we add a touch of sugar to cut back on the tomatoes’ acid taste (these particular tomatoes didn’t need any sugar as they were vine-ripe organic tomatoes that were just right.  We poured the sofrito onto our fish fillets, slapped a piece of bread onto the plate, and enjoyed.  That was a Thursday, see below:

soak it up

may flours



done…all we had was wheat bread.

The following Friday, the lovely and talented Esti and Ryan came by for some pre-dinner drinks.  We drank Clamato bloody Maries (recipe here) and enjoyed some anchovy stuffed olives (available in the Goya section of your local grocery store) before heading to…wait for it…Saso’s for even more fish.  I have already raved about Saso’s here and here.  Really, if you like good sushi, you gotta go there.  We actually had some cheese and crackers too, but that doesn’t fit into the all-seafood theme, so I chose to exclude that.  And if there is no record of it, it didn’t happen.  I read 1984; I know how these things work.   

clam up

Ah say toon ah

mm eating

I forgot the camera until we were done

Another dish my lovely wife introduced me to is bacalaitos.  These things are terrific, and really easy to make.  We use the mix from Goya; open box, add water.  Then you essentially deep fry the things, a tablespoon-sized dollop at a time, in about a half inch of hot olive oil.  I prefer to use canola oil as you can get the oil much hotter and hence the bacaloitos come out much crispier.  Cati insists on olive oil, but she doesn’t use extra virgin or first cold press because it’s not necessary to use very high quality oil for deep frying.  They are so good.  I like them with a dab of sour cream, although this is totally not accepted by any Spaniards.  I can’t help it.  These things are like fishy potato pancakes, and sour cream just seems right to me.  Hey, my family is Ukranian, and we loves us some smetana

Bringing it bacalao

Get out of the box and into my heart (belly)

Since we are on a fish kick here, I am also including some photos of Cati making paella.  I would go into how she makes it, but that would take forever, and her recipe is her little secret.  I think she adds a little “wool of bat” or something (shrug).  I just show up with my appetite when it’s ready.  I do know one thing; there are always a lot more phone calls to Spain (her Grandmother) whenever she makes paella, so I know she gets outside help. 

 paella dos

looks good, eh?

she cooks too

it simmers

I forgot to take a picture of the final product.  I gotta work on that, I know.

Also, it’s really hot these days, and we don’t have AC.

feeling (hot)^3

So, we improvise:

I will get by

*Alternate/rejected titles (rejected by Cati, that is):

  • Just for the halibut
  • In cod we trust
  • I’m a sole man. 

You got one?

4 Responses to “Some things fishy*”

  1. I like “In cod we trust” and “I’m a sole man.” Too funny! Of course, for you guys, it should be more like, “No Sleep … ‘Til Saso’s!”

    Mmm… you’re making me hungry with all this good food.. potato pancakes.. Cati’s paella!

    By the way, inspired by you guys, we made some pizza-ettes last night during our power outage!

  2. Albany Jane says:

    Wonderful post, since… well, it has seafood!
    Also, it looks like the baccalo came out great soaking it for twice as long!

  3. alex|dimitri says:

    Thanks for the kind words, Albany Jane (and you too, G). You have had some great posts too lately. I liked your TN one especially. Good stuff.

  4. Funny post! Seafood looks great. I feel like I’m always on a fish kick. Been pulling great fish out of EATS lately and for the quality, not too expensive. Check out my blog: