Good Fish Friday: Ensalada de Bacaloa con Papas y Huevos

According to my Cuban family, Easter dinner was not a particularly memorable event. They might get together and share a meal that Sunday, but there were no must-have Easter dishes. But Good Friday was a different story. Meat was not to be consumed on Fridays, so an alternate protein was substituted, which was often bacaloa, or salted cod. My mother and aunts recall that they often indulged in a salad version of the dish that incorporated potatoes and eggs along with the salty boiled fish. Despite its pungent aroma, this recipe is a classic family dish that has been passed down through several generations due to its usefulness as a simple, light spring dish. Good Friday falls this year on April 2.

The recipe, after the jump.

Ensalada de Bacaloa Con Papas y Huevos (Codfish Salad with Potatoes and Eggs)

6 servings

  • 1 pound salted codfish*
  • 2 pounds Russet Potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 hard boiled eggs
  • Coarsely chopped roasted red peppers
  • ¼ cup Spanish olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh cilantro
  • *Since we are beginning with dried cod, you must start preparing this dish the day before you plan to cook it. Place the fish in cold water for two hours. Drain and place it in a fresh pot of cold water overnight. Drain, skin and debone the fish. Cut into small squares (about half the size of a playing card).

    Place the cod in a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring it to a boil and then reduce to a steady simmer until the fish is tender, about one hour. Drain and cool the cod. Boil the potatoes in the same pot until they are tender but still hold their shape (you can also boil the eggs simultaneously here).

    Arrange the onion slices on the bottom of a large salad bowl. Top the onions with the boiled potatoes. Next layer on the salted cod. Garnish this with the wedges of hardboiled egg and roasted peppers.

    Now make the vinaigrette. Simply whisk together the olive oil and vinegar, seasoning to taste with salt, pepper and fresh cilantro. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad or serve on the side.

    KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
    Geri Maria Harris