Aport in Portugal

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By default, a good Portuguese fish monger will have a decent extra virgin olive oil from that land. Indeed, extra virgin olive oil is fundamental to southern Portuguese fish cooking. But first, you have to find a decent Portuguese fish monger.
In East Cambridge, Massachussets, there is Courthouse Seafood. If you love fish, go there.

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Here are my raw materials for making my own home made “bacalao”, or salt cod. I should really try to source Portuguese sea salt. But I am more than happy to use Irish sea salt. Both countries have the Atlantic ocean as their neighbour. And share the same time zone.

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There are as many different recipes for salt cod as there are families making it at home. I used thyme picked from my garden, as well as a hot chile pepper I had saved and dried from the summer. I used a micro-plane to grate the lemon zest, which shows it’s hue nicely. I like to make my own salt cod over buying the commercial/industrial varieties on sale. It’s a seasonal thing. I’m ready for a New England winter .

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The cod sits in the salt cure for up to 4 days, depending on how thick the cut of fish is. Afterwards which, whatever I am not using immediately, gets frozen right there and then. To be revived and rehydrated another day.

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The fundamentals for a peasant soup……………leeks and carrots from my garden, rosmary and garlic too. Dried chile pepper, smoked paprika, sweet bell pepper and bay leaf with smoked chorizo sausage. Hello, Portugal.

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