Last updated on 05-Apr-2022
In Portugal or in other countries around the world, tasting the local food is an essential part of the experience of getting to know the country. And in that sense, Portuguese cuisine never fails to impress me. I admire the way they combine simple ingredients and turn them into delicious dishes, much more special than just the sum of the parts.
The recipe I’m sharing here is another example of this. The “Bacalhau com Broa”, or roasted cod with a seasoned cornbread crust, which I ate for the first time when I visited the Mercado Bom Sucesso in Porto, quickly became one of my favourite cod dishes. It’s not that common to find it in restaurants, which makes it harder to resist when I do. But despite being delicious and irresistible, it’s pretty easy to make at home – a perfect choice to impress on special occasions or simply to delight the family.
I prefer to use cod loins for this recipe, but be sure to make it even if you don’t have loins or prefer to use other more affordable parts of the salted cod. See the notes at the end of the recipe below to make the dish “deconstructed” style, using cooked shredded or flaked cod (to remove the bones).
Ready for another delicious cod recipe? Hope you like it as much as we do. Enjoy a trip to Portugal for your taste buds!
Cod with Cornbread Crust
- Food processor
- 1 onion large, sliced into thin half-moons
- 5 cloves garlic thinly sliced
- ½ cup olive oil or more, as needed
- 4 salted cod loins pre-soaked to remove excess salt and ready to cook = about 1 Kg or 2.2 lbs
- 400 g cornbread Portuguese style yellow cornbread, 1-2 days old, crusts removed and torn into smaller pieces
- ¼ cup parsley fresh, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- 700 g potatoes about 1 ½ lb, small size, peel on, washed
- 1 head broccoli large stem removed, cut into florets
- ½ head cabbage (optional) white, large stem removed, cut into bite-size pieces
- Preheat oven to 390°F (200°C).
- Meanwhile, place the potatoes in a pot with cold water seasoned with salt and a drizzle of olive oil. Bring to a boil and cook until soft.
- Remove the cooked potatoes with a slotted spoon or spider and use the same boiling water (add more water if necessary and adjust the salt) to cook the cabbage (optional) for 5 minutes or until done to your taste. At the same time, you can steam the broccoli florets by placing a basket or sieve over the boiling water.
- Reserve the cooked vegetables.
- On a large baking dish, distribute the sliced onion, the garlic, and drizzle generously with olive oil. Arrange the cod loins on top of this bed of onions, drizzle each one with a little more olive oil, and bake for 15 minutes.
- While the cod is roasting, add the cornbread pieces, salt and pepper to taste, and the chopped parsley to the food processor. Pulse a few times adding olive oil until it has the consistency of wet coarse sand.
- Remove cod from the oven (after the 15 minutes are up). Divide the cornbread mixture into four portions and cover each loin with a portion, pressing gently (without breaking the loin) to form a crust.
- If desired, add the boiled potatoes to the same tray as the cod. If there is leftover cornbread mixture, sprinkle around the loins on the baking dish. Return everything to the oven. Bake for another 15 minutes or until the bread crumbs are golden brown.
- Serve each cod loin with cornbread crust accompanied by the cooked vegetables drizzled with the hot olive oil sauce and onions on the tray.
- If you don't have cod loins or prefer to use other more affordable parts from the salted cod, you can make the dish with other pieces, pre-cooked and shredded or in chunks (to remove the bones).
- In this case, sauté the onion and garlic with plenty of olive oil, season with salt and pepper to taste. When the onion is translucent and starting to brown, add the cod (already cooked and shredded or in chunks) and the other vegetables in the recipe (you can even exclude the potatoes), also pre-cooked. Adjust the salt and place everything in a baking dish. Distribute the bread mixture over the cod and vegetables, drizzle with more oil, and bake for about 20 minutes or until golden.
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