Recipe by Paula.
These salt cod fritters were one of the most popular items at my last Portuguese supper club. They are perfect little bites of salty and savoury. You can make the batter ahead of time right up to the part where you add the whisked egg whites. Add the whisked egg whites just before frying so the fritters are light and airy. Enjoy!
500 gr dried salt cod,
1 large potato (200 gr), unpeeled
2 tablespoons milk
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs, separated into whites and yolks
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
Vegetable oil, for frying
1. Soak the salt cod in cold water for 24 to 48 hours, changing the water occasionally then drain. In a large pot over medium high heat, add cod and enough water to cover the cod by 2 inches. Remove the cod and bring the water to a boil. Add the cod and boil it for 3-5 minutes. Drain the cod and let it cool for 5 minutes or until you can handle it with your hands. Remove and discard all the skin and bones. Flake the remaining cod flesh and reserve.
2. In a medium pot, add enough water to cover the potato. Bring the water to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes until the potato is cooked through. Drain the water and let the potato cool down until it is easy to handle but still warm. Peel the potato and mash it with the milk and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and set aside.
3. To a frying pan over medium heat, add the remaining olive oil and let it heat for 1 minute. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes or until they have softened. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Remove the pan from the heat.
4. In a large bowl, combine cod, potato, onion mixture, flour, egg yolks and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
5. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until they are stiff then gently fold the egg whites into the cod mixture.
6. In a deep frying pan over medium high heat, add 3 inches of vegetable oil. Bring the oil temperature up to 365°F. Adjust the heat to keep the temperature at 365°F while frying. Drop heaping tablespoons of the cod mixture into the oil and cook for 2-3 minutes (about 4-6 fritters at a time), or until puffed and golden and cooked through. Transfer the fritters to a paper towel lined tray to absorb any excess oil. Sprinkle fritters with a little salt. Let them sit for about a minute to cool slightly or they will burn your mouth. Serve immediately.