Filetti di Baccalà & The Salad

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This past week Baccala has been on my mind, I don’t know if it’s because it is summer and people are starting to fish around here or because I know that Dad will be telling me that he’s craving for some Baccala.

fish rome

Baccala is one of my most favorite things to eat, and for those of you who don’t know what it is, Baccala is Cod that has been preserved in salt, a method used for centuries. Most countries have their own Baccala recipes.
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While in Rome I made frequent visits to Filetti di Baccalà located down the street from Campo de’ Fiori in a little piazza and in front of the beautiful Santa Barbara church and, with weather permitting, you can sit outside in their cafe. I only had the deep fried Baccala there because I was on a strict budget, but I did see platters of anchovies and green salads and cured meats as they passed my way. But this restaurant is mostly famous throughout Rome for its fried Baccala that is served with a pile of thin newspaper in which to eat it. The paper is void of print which works to everyone’s advantage, after all, who wants to read about bad news when eating something so delicious? –And let’s face it, for those of you who know me, you know I prefer to use my hands when I eat rather than a fork and knife; I’m piggish that way.

At least once in summer and on Christmas Eve Dad and I make his famous Baccalà salad; the recipe was handed down to him from his great-grandmother.
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This is how we do it:

First soak the Baccala for a few days in cold water and change the water often because it can be quite salty. Boil water, and reduce heat to medium, and add the Baccala’ and simmer until it can be flaked apart, be careful not to overcook it.

When completely chilled place the fish in a bowl, (don’t break it up too much) add tons of green olive oil, dried cured olives, vinegar peppers with some of the vinegar, plenty of chopped garlic, capers, chopped parsley and toss gently.

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About johncpicardi

Welcome to my blog. I am the author of the novel Oliver Pepper's Pickle and the published plays The Sweepers and Seven Rabbits on a Pole, both plays have been produced off Broadway and around the US. I am a graduate of Johnson & Wales University where I majored in Culinary arts. I have a BA from The University of Massachusetts and an MFA from Carnegie Mellon University. This blog is about food and food memories and every other fantastic and scrumptious thing to do with it. My appetite and passion for food is large and runs deep, sometimes its indulgent and wild and other times wholesome and simple, often humorous and always immeasurable. I grew up outside of Boston and spent many hours of my childhood in front of the TV watching Graham Kerr (The Galloping Gourmet) and Julia Child prepare all kinds of luscious meals that would make my mouth water. Other days I’d follow my mother and two grandmothers around their simple, tidy kitchens as they busily prepared hearty fragrant meals, hand-cut pastas, preserved fruits and vegetables, baked yeasty breads, spicy cookies and frosted lopsided cakes. I was there by their side asking questions and helping where needed and there were plenty of times I was ordered to leave if I was in their way. It was a given that by the time I graduated High School I would be going off to Johnson & Wales University to study Culinary Arts. Those years were fine and good. I loved the hands on creativeness of cooking whether it be the simple lesson of washing a sink full of colorful salad greens, trussing a chicken or peeling a gorgeous carrot or the complicated lessons of making a French Country Pate or Julia Child’s Cassoulet or making Brioche, it all thrilled me and my dream had arrived!
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