Grilled Salted Cod with Olive Oil/Bacalhau à Lagareiro

Given the ubiquitousness of salted cod (bacalhau) in Portuguese cuisine, this blog has admittedly few references to it so on to the task of remedying that with a classic dish from the centre of Portugal (Beiras region) – Bacalhau à Lagareiro. Lagar is the portuguese term for olive oil press and lagareiro referring to the worker of the press. This recipe, not surprisingly, is very much about putting the best quality olive oil (azeite) at the centre of the dish. Together with flavourful garlic and “punched potatoes”, this is one of those simple combinations of flavours and textures that is characteristically Portuguese. As with most bacalhau recipes the cod needs to be soaked beforehand. Soaked cod freezes well so you can soak a larger batch and  freeze individual tranches.

Bacalhau à lagareiro

1 tranche of salted cod
1 cup of extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves of garlic (sliced)
1 bay leaf or fresh rosemary
400 gr small new potatoes
Sea salt
Servers 2 people

1. Soak the cod for 2-3 days, depending on thickness, changing the water twice a day. Use cold water in a large container and follow protocol by placing the cod tranche always skin up. You can make small knife incisions through the sides to let water infiltrate the fish and speed up the process.

2. Wash the potatoes and keeping the skin on, place on oven tray with plenty of sea salt. Roast at 180C for 40-50 minutes turning occasionally. The skins should be crispy and the inside soft.

3. While the potatoes are roasting infuse the olive oil by keeping a container in a warm place with the oil, garlic and bay leaf or rosemary.

4. Grill the cod on the bbq or electric grill for about 10 minutes each side, making sure it is not getting too dry.

5. Serve by placing a potatoes on the plate and gently punching them so that they open and get ready to soak up the infused oil (better do this with a tea towel if your inexperienced as you can burn yourself rather easily…). Cut the cod tranche into half, removing the large bone, place on plate with potatoes and pour the olive oil with some of the slices of garlic. The dish can be served with a simple green salad or steamed greens.

Olive oil infusing with garlic and rosemary

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Pedro Rebelo

Pedro is a composer, sound artist and performer. In 2002, he was awarded a PhD by the University of Edinburgh where he conducted research in both music and architecture. Pedro has recently led participatory projects involving communities in Belfast, favelas in Maré, Rio de Janeiro, travelling communities in Portugal and a slum town in Mozambique. This work has resulted in sound art exhibitions at venues such as the Metropolitan Arts Centre, Belfast, Centro Cultural Português Maputo, Espaço Ecco in Brasilia and Parque Lage and Museu da Maré in Rio, Museu Nacional Grão Vasco and MAC Nitéroi. His music has been presented in venues such as the Melbourne Recital Hall, National Concert Hall Dublin, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Ars Electronica, Casa da Música, and in events such as Weimarer Frühjahrstage fur zeitgenössische Musik, Wien Modern Festival, Cynetart and Música Viva. His work as a pianist and improvisor has been released by Creative Source Recordings and he has collaborated with musicians such as Chris Brown, Mark Applebaum, Carlos Zingaro, Evan Parker and Pauline Oliveros as well as artists such as Suzanne Lacy. His writings reflect his approach to design and creative practice in a wider understanding of contemporary culture and emerging technologies. Pedro has been Visiting Professor at Stanford University (2007), senior visiting professor at UFRJ, Brazil (2014) and Collaborating Researcher at INEM-md Universidade Nova, Lisboa (2016). He has been Music Chair for international conferences such as ICMC 2008, SMC 2009, ISMIR 2012 and has been invited keynote speaker at ANPPOM 2017, ISEA 2017, CCMMR 2016 and EMS 2013. At Queen's University Belfast, he has held posts as Director of Education, Director of Research and Head of School. In 2012 he was appointed Professor of Sonic Arts at Queen's and awarded the Northern Bank's "Building Tomorrow's Belfast" prize. He has recently been awarded two major grants from the Arts and Humanities Research Council including the interdisciplinary project “Sounding Conflict”, investigating relationships between sound, music and conflict situations. Ongoing research interests include immersive sound design and augmented listening experiences. Pedro has been appointed Director of the Sonic Arts Research Centre in 2021.

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