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Baccalà alla vicentina, family recipe.




Baccalà in the whole of Italy but Veneto means salted cod. In Veneto baccalà means stockfish. Our baccalà can be cooked "alla vicentina" (Vicenza style) or "alla veneziana" (Venice style). In the past it was the food of the poors during lent, now it's an expensive treat (good dried cod from Lofoten Islands is priced little less than 30 €/kg). Vicenza is renowned for its baccalà and there's even a brotherhood to promote and protect the "original" recipe. Truth is every family has it's own recipe. This is my maternal grandmother's and it differs a bit from the "original" one. I did it friday evening to eat it saturday at lunch. I used dried cod already soaked and deboned by a friend who gave me it. Usually I buy it dried 3 days in advance (100gr per person) and  beat it hard with a piece of wood. I put it to soak in cold water that I change at least twice a day. It smells horribly so it must stay in the laundry. After three days I sautee two roughly cut onions with extra virgin olive oil 20151211_170056.thumb.jpg.6e108c8cca7446and I take away the cod's bones 20151211_173449.thumb.jpg.f8a222ddea63b7and dress it inside with flour, parseley, 20151211_173520.thumb.jpg.e7c305b2a6d246nutmeg, salt, pepper, 1/3 of the sauteed onions 20151211_173704.thumb.jpg.6c06a71a43bffdand Grana Padano.20151211_173730.thumb.jpg.161aee7cb3c537 I close it and dress the outside with flour. 20151211_173805.thumb.jpg.9a3e7e0b012306I put it in the pot over another third of the onions and cover it with the last third.20151211_173945.thumb.jpg.fe60ebfa08bc8c I add nearly half a glass  of extra virgin olive oil and milk till I cover the fish and add 5 potatoes already peeled and cut in medium-little pieces, salt, pepper and nutmeg. 20151211_175449.thumb.jpg.406fbf6c894685Cook it very very slowly (it must never boil, the surface must barely move, in our dialect we say it "pipare") for 4hours. It must never be covered and it shouldn't be stirred but after the first hour I stir it every now and then so it doesn't stick to the bottom (traditionally baccalà was cooked in a terracotta pot that served for this sole purpose but I use a stainless steel one). At the end if it's still too liquid I crush some potatoes with a fork. 20151212_124509.thumb.jpg.631d637892403fThen I taste and add salt, pepper and nutmeg if needed. It must be served with hot polenta. The white polenta is typical of where I live.20151212_130256.thumb.jpg.d1286b80539d42 I know it's not beautiful to see but I can assure it taste delicious and it even smells deliciously, pretty incredible I know but it's true. Also, I don't have fond childhood memories influencing me, I discovered this dish as an adult and I had to bribe my grandmother to have the recipe, because she never made it after my grandfather's death and my mother can't be bothered to actually cook it even if she really loves to eat it. Even my toddler loves it!

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It's a bit too perishable to travel long distances.:pb_lol:  I can grant it's a very easy recipe though, anyone can cook it, here you can also buy the cod already rehydrated and deboned to save time so it becomes even easier.

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