I added this recipe to my repertoire as an adult. It is one of my favorites because it always reminds me of the time my husband and I decided to move the metropolitan area of our island, near the capital. This enabled me to learn even more about Puerto Rican cooking, and specifically the artesenal cuisine of an area called Piñones, where I learned to make this recipe. I remember sitting in a kiosco one day watching a cook preparing bacalaítos. Even though it was quite hot out, it was evident that she enjoyed cooking it from the happiness that radiated from within her. This made me want to ask her for her recipe. She happily obliged. Thanks to her now I have this wonderful Piñones Bacalaíto recipe, a dish loved by both locals and tourists alike.
- 1/2 lb desalted cod fillets
- 1 1/2 lb all-purpose wheat flour
- 1 1/2 cup water
- 2 to 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
- 2 culantro leaves, finely chopped
- Vegetable oil (for frying)
- Salt and pepper, as desired
- Cut cod fillet into pieces. Make sure bones have been removed; rinse twice or three times. Soak cod in water for half an hour to completely desalt it. Drain, thoroughly pat dry on paper towel. Shred it.
- In bowl, combine wheat flour with water and mix well to remove all lumps.
- Crush garlic in a mortar with a little salt and pepper, and add it to the flour. Add shredded codfish and mix well.
- Heat oil the codfish will be fried on high ( if using an electric fryer place at 375°F, if using a casserole insert a thermometer and let it raise same temperature, if desired), but not on the highest heat.
- With rice serving spoon, carefully pour some mix into hot oil. Fry in pairs; this way it´s easier to turn over the fritters, allow fritters to turn golden brown on both sides.
- If you want them to be very crispy, add 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder , if desired