How to make it

  • Soak salt cod in cold water for two days, changing the water several times.
  • Preheat oven to 350F/400F.
  • To cook the salt cod, place it in a pot. Cover with cold water. Place over high heat. When the water starts to boil (not yet a rolling boil), turn the heat off and cover the pot. Let salt cod sit in the water for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Take out of the water and flake. Set aside.
  • In a small saucepan, heat milk and cream over low heat. Add garlic, bay leaves and black peppercorns and steep for about 10 to 20 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit for about 10 more minutes. Remove the garlic, bay leaves and peppercorns; discard.
  • In another pot over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and start whisking. Cook this mixture until light golden brown in color, about 2 minutes. Pour in the milk-cream mixture and whisk until smooth and thickened. Season with smoked paprika.
  • Peel and thinly slice potatoes.
  • In a baking dish (approximately 9-inch by 13-inch, and 2 or 3 inches in height), add a ladle of sauce, a layer of potatoes, and a layer of salt cod. Repeat until desired height or quantity is reached. End with a final layer of sauce. If you need more sauce, simply add more milk or cream.
  • Cover baking dish with foil and bake for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. To test, poke a knife into the dish; the potatoes should yield easily to the knife.
  • Remove foil and broil the dish until the top is golden brown.
  • Garnish with black olives.

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