Vicenza style cod: Baccalà alla Vicentina
by Camilla - foodaroundblog
Vicenza is a beautiful town in northern Italy: the city of Palladio, as it is also called, is listed as one of the World Heritage Sites by UNESCO to be the scene of famous Palladian villas and palaces’ magnificence, result of Andrea Palladio’s architectural genius. I am tied to Vicenza, partly because one of my dearest friends lives there: having heard from her a few days ago suggested me the idea of preparing a famous recipe of that city: “Baccalà alla Vicentina”.
Much could be said about this recipe. First, the preparation would require the Stockfish, that is cod preserved by the drying process. The word “Baccalà” in Italian actually refers to the salted cod. We do not know why the people of Vicenza continue to call the prescription with the wrong name. The poor cod involved, must certainly have a bipolar disorder! In any case, call Stockfish, Baccalà or cod .. luckily the raw material is not lacking here in the Uk. I have entrusted to a fresh cod purchased at the farmers’ market in Chipping Norton and I proposed this recipe for a family dinner.
For the preparation I have relied on prescription endorsed and officially approved by the Venerable Brotherhood of Vicenza Style Baccalà, a congregation founded with the intent of preserving the local culinary tradition.
Ingredients for 4 people :
500 gr cod
250 gr onions
1/4 liter oil e.v.o.
2 salted anchovies
1/2 pint of fresh milk
100 gr white flour
50 gr grated Parmesan cheese
a sprig of parsley, chopped
salt and pepper
(If you use the Stockfish as the original recipe: first soak the dried cod, already well beaten, in cold water, changing it every 4 hours for 2-3 days.)
Open the fish lengthwise, remove the bone and all the plugs. Cut into pieces. Chop the onions finely, fry in a pan with a cup of oil, add the salted sardines, and cut into small pieces, finally, turn off the heat, add the chopped parsley. Flour the pieces of cod, sprayed with the fried mixture, then arrange them side by side, in a pan (on the bottom of it first pour a few spoonfuls of fried mixture). Cover the fish with the rest of the onion sauce, add the milk, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper. Combine the oil to cover all the pieces, leveling them. Cook over very gentle heat (first secret!) for about 4 hours, occasionally moving the container in a circular motion, without stirring (second secret!). The exact dish of cod may differ in consistency. The baccalà is also great after a rest of 12/24 hours. Serve with polenta.