Codfish with Cream deliciously known by Portuguese people as Bacalhau com Natas has always been one of my favorite codfish dishes in the whole world. Since the first time I tried, I have always wanted more and more. When I was younger mom used to make codfish with cream, I had to be there with her so that I could eat up from the pot once she was done. You will probably not be surprise if I tell you I still do that despite if it is mother or I who did it. It is delicious. My comfort food.
This beautiful dish, codfish with cream originated from Portugal and was one of the best things ever introduced by Portuguese to us, Angolans. It is basically codfish, potatoes, heavy whipping cream, and béchamel sauce. The perfect dish for people who seem to appreciate fish very little. The taste of the codfish in the cream is not as strong as you would think because there other strong ingredients to pay attention to. The nutmeg is one of them, and it will only elevate the taste of your dish.
You already know how to make béchamel sauce from the previous post. If you by any chance missed the post, please visit by clicking here. Once you have mastered this sauce, you can go ahead and start this wonderful recipe. You know one of those dishes your family keeps asking you to make over and over again, I hope this one will be a part of you fantastic and delicious list.
Codfish with Cream (Bacalhau com Natas)
- 1.3 kg potatoes
- 1 kg dried codfish, unsalted*
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 3 onions, diced
- 6 garlic cloves, diced
- 2 cup béchamel sauce
- 3 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- Black pepper
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- Bread crumbs, optional
- Cheese, optional
*In the first codfish post, I have explained how to handle the dried codfish. If you have not worked with dried fish before, it is important to know that it will be very salty. You need to remove the salt by soaking it in iced water for a couple of days. Change the water at least 4 times a day. After that, your codfish is ready for usage or to be refrigerated.
Place the codfish in a pot, and add some water. Try not to add too much water, around 2 cups should be enough. Turn on the stove, and allow the water boil. Let it boil for 4-5 minutes and turn off the stove.
Once cooled, remove the skin and spines from the codfish. It should be looking like the picture from below. However if you buy the shredded version, you can just skip this step. Just make sure to soak it before.
Wash the potatoes before starting to peel them. This action will help you keep the potatoes cleaned. Peel the potatoes and diced them. If Gordon Ramsay saw the way we cut the potatoes at home, he would probably be offended 🙂
Make sure to change the water if not clear enough for you. Change it as many times as you wish.
Using a clean kitchen towel, add a cup of drained potatoes and allow it to drain. Ensure there is very little liquid/fluid around them. This is to prevent any oil burn from adding the potatoes into it.
Add oil to the fryer or pan and turn on the stove at high level . Add the potatoes once the oil is hot.
||Tip 1: Try to avoid adding too much oil to the fryer or pan to prevent it from overflowing once you add the potatoes.
||Tip 2: To test if the oil is warm enough, cut a very small piece of potato and drop it gently in the fryer or pan.
Fry the potatoes until they are cooked and golden. In reality it is hardly a must to have the potatoes fully cooked because the dish will still go to the oven. The potatoes need to be almost cooked before going to the oven.
The potatoes should be looking golden as shown in the photo below.
Drain the oil from the potatoes and put them in a glassware covered with napkins to finish absorbing the oil.
Once the potatoes are fried, start making the saute for the codfish.
Add the oil, onions and garlic into a large pot and turn on the heat to medium. As the onions and garlic start to fry, keep stirring them to prevent from burning.
After reaching the desired golden for the potatoes and garlic, add the codfish. With the aid of a wooden spoon, smash the codfish so it separates into smaller pieces.
Add the potatoes to the pot and stir it until it is evenly distributed. The potatoes addition should be done gradually for a good ratio control. If by any chance the potatoes are too much, it will be noticed during the gradual addition.
Turn off the stove.
The next step is to add the béchamel sauce and the heavywhipping cream. Incorporate them well into the potatoes and codfish.
The béchamel sauce already contains nutmeg and black pepper, however these ingredients can be added if needed.
Transfer the contents in the pot to a glassware.
Add the breadcrumbs or cheese on top of the of codfish mixture.
Place it into a 180 °C (350 °F) preheated oven. Turn on both top and bottom grills.
In 20 minutes, turn on solely the broil and let it toast a little. Remove once dish is toasted enough to your taste.
The dish is ready to be served and enjoyed with a nice salad. It is a nice dish to be shared with your family and friends. Perfect for a nice family or a party dinner. I am sure they will not forget of such wonderful dish.
Until next time, Hungry People.