Salt cod with chickpeas and boiled eggs
Serves 4 as a cold tapa (it can also be served warm)
400g salt cod fillet
1litre whole milk
1/2 small onion
1 bay leaf
3 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon salt
2 large free range eggs, room temperature
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ red onion finely chopped
200g chickpeas, tinned or soaked
sea salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
24 hours before you plan to eat this dish, put the salt cod, skin-side up, in a bowl and cover with plenty of cold water. Cover and put in the fridge. You will need to change the water every 6 hours or so. To check if the cod is ready, i.e. no longer salty, take a little piece of flesh from the thickest part and taste it. You want it to be a little bit salty, but not too much.
Add the milk, onion, bay leaf, 2 garlic cloves, peppercorns and the cod to a saucepan and bring everything to the boil – but as soon as it starts boiling turn off the heat and leave the fish in the milk for another 5 minutes. Remove the fillet from the milk and, as soon you can handle it without burning your fingers, remove all the bones and skin.
Bring some water to the boil in a clean saucepan, add the salt and lower the eggs into the water and boil for 9 minutes. As soon as the time is up, remove the eggs and plunge them into iced water: this should produce eggs with a runny yolk, but firm white. Shell the eggs.
Finely chop the remaining garlic clove and the onion. Heat the olive oil in a wok or frying pan and sauté the onion and garlic until golden. Then add the chickpeas and lastly the cod. Season with caution (remember the cod will still have a bit of salt); stir through the lemon juice and chopped parsley.
Cut the eggs in half and place yolk side up on top of each serving. If serving the salad cold, let everything cool right down before serving, and stir through again with a tough more lemon juice just prior to plating up. If serving warm, divide the mixture between 4 warmed plates.
(Amazing photo courtesty and copyright of Vladimir Studenic)