Salt cod fritters

Makes 18
1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients

Salt cod croquettes

  • 300g of salt cod fillet, soaked in water overnight, water changed at least twice
  • 400g of Maris Piper potatoes, sliced into chunks
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 700ml of whole milk
  • 1 tbsp of plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 bunch of parsley, large, roughly chopped
  • black pepper
  • 1l sunflower oil

Sweet tomato and pepper sauce

  • 6 large vine tomatoes, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 1 red pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 3 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp sherry vinegar
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges, to serve

Method

1
Start by draining off the salt cod and place in a wide saucepan along with the sliced onion and bay leaves. Cover with the milk. Place on the hob, bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer, leaving the fish to poach for 5 minutes or until the skin starts to flake off
2
Remove the cod with a slotted spoon and pop into a bowl to cool slightly. Meanwhile, cook the potatoes in the milk liquor, simmering for 20 minutes or so, until they have become soft
3
Whilst the potatoes are cooking, gently peel off the skin from the warm cod and using your fingers flake it finely, checking for bones along the way
4
When the potatoes are done, lift out using a slotted spoon, along with as much of the onion as you can. Discard the bay leaves and put the milk to one side
5
Mash the potatoes and onion together using a masher or potato ricer and add to the cod flakes, along with the chopped parsley, flour and cracked black pepper. Mix together, so that everything incorporated. If you find the mix a little bit dry, add just a touch of the reserved milk. You don’t want it too smooth though
6
Next, flour a large plate or chopping board and then using 2 spoons, take some of the mix with 1 spoon and with the other, quenelle it into an oval shape
7
This takes a bit of practice but don’t worry if they aren’t perfect. Place each quenelle onto the floured surface and keep going until you’ve used the mixture up
8
Once done, place in the fridge until you are ready to deep-fry them
9
Meanwhile, start the sweet tomato and pepper sauce by splashing the olive oil in a saucepan and place on the heat. Add the garlic slices and stir for a minute or so, until they start to colour and then add the tomatoes. Reduce the heat and leave to gently bubble
10
Whilst that is slowly cooking down, place a whole red pepper on a naked flame on the hob or under a very hot grill. Turn as it starts to roast and blacken and when completely cooked, take off and leave to cool a touch
11
Scrape the blackened skin off with a knife, cut in half and remove the seeds. Again, don’t panic if there are some black bits still left behind
12
Roughly chop the flesh then add to the tomatoes, along with the sugar and vinegar. Stir through to cook for another minute before blitzing with a handheld blender or in a food processor
13
To cook the salt cod croquettes, fill a deep-fryer or saucepan with the sunflower oil and heat to 180°C
14
When up to temperature, cook the croquettes in batches for 3–4 minutes, until they are crisp and golden brown and keep warm on kitchen towel
15
When they are all cooked, serve up on a platter with the sweet tomato and pepper sauce in ramekins for dipping and slices of lemon to squeeze over. Drink with ice-cold Super Bock