A confit is simply a method of slow cooking in fat or oil. The great variety of high quality Portuguese olive oil is a great excuse to try a twist on the traditional salted cod. This recipe brings together three classic ingredients of Portuguese cuisine: bacalhau, garlic and olive oil.
1 large salted cod steak (posta) soaked in changes of cold water for 48 hours
2 cups of extra virgin olive oil
1 bay leaf
6 cloves of garlic
Cayenne pepper (to taste)
Serves 4 as a starter
1. In a medium pot warm the olive oil and gently cook the garlic with the bay leaf, the main cod bone and some skin at low heat for 15 minutes. The cod bones and skin will intensify the taste of the olive oil and will help the sauce emulsify at the end. Once the garlic is cooked (it should be soft but remain white) remove and discard the bones skins and set the garlic to the side.
2. While the garlic is cooking prepare the cod by cutting into bite size pieces and removing any bones. Dry the cod pieces in kitchen paper and cook in the olive oil at low to medium heat for about 5 minutes in stages making sure not to crowd the pot. The idea is to poach gently rather than fry.
3. Remove the cod and set aside, let the olive oil cool down a little and blend in the garlic in a food processor or hand mixer adding the juice of 1/2 lemon. Taste the sauce and correct seasoning if necessary. The saltiness of the cod should be sufficient but more salt could be added. Serve the cod with the sauce sprinkled with cayenne pepper and some fresh green salad leaves.