The other day I was schlepping around my local supermarket, El Corte Inglés–where all the foreigners flock to get pseudo-familiar versions of their foods from home. I once found a bag of “Authentic Mexican Tortillas” and excitedly skipped home only to find they were super thick and even sweet to the taste! Never again–I’ll make my own.
I find that this place caters to 1) lazy Spaniards and 2) clueless foreigners who don’t have any idea about (or inclination to make) local cuisine. They have plenty of “ready to eat” versions of home cooking–and of course I know this is never as good as the real thing, but since I don’t live with a host family anymore and I can only crash so many house parties, what is a girl to do?
So I like to play around in the store and see what I find. So in the seafood section I found these ready-made patties that looked like small, yellow cod fritters with scrambled egg. The interesting thing is, there are no eggs in tortillitas de bacalao. The yellow is from the chickpea flour.
These tasty little treats are a lot like latkes, except with cod in place of potatoes and, again, no eggs. Before you say “then they can’t be like latkes,” let’s take a look at this very easy, very delicious recipe. I guess they could also be considered tiny fish schnitzels.
If you don’t like cod, or you are boycotting them because they are becoming overfished, feel free to replace with any of your favorite seafoods or meats. The key is to keep the pieces small, so that they fry better.
Skill Level: EASY
Preparation time: About 10 minutes.
Cooking time: 15-20 minutes.
Servings: Depends on how many pieces you make.
Piece of cod
Small bowl of chickpea flour
1 part wheat flour to 2 parts chickpea flour, to even out texture when fried
Fresh parsley (dried if fresh is not available)
*My added recommendation*: Finely chopped onion (you can also use onion powder)
Glass of lukewarm water
Vegetable oil (I use olive oil)
Pinch of salt (optional)
Cut the piece of cod into small, very thin pieces to achieve a pancake-like shape. (You can also just cut into very small pieces without regard to shape, known as “migas.”) Put the pieces in a pot of water and bring it to a boil. Remove the water and set aside pieces. In a bowl, mix chickpea flour, wheat flour, parsley, and onion. Saffron and salt may also be added. Slowly mix in lukewarm water just until you achieve a paste-like consistency (not runny).
Dip pieces into paste, and place in hot skillet with vegetable oil. Fry until lightly browned.
Some people just add salt and eat as-is, although I think they go well with sour cream. Garnish as desired. Enjoy!