Deep-fried and warming, the saltcod croquettes of Portugal are a Christmas tradition - and they're also eaten on the other 364 days of the year. Yes, they're that good.
This recipe comes from the 1839 cookbook Arte Do Cozinheiro E Do Copeiro, published in Lisbon.
Ingredients: (Makes around 12 croquettes)
125g of potato 2 eggs (2 yolks, 1 white) Chopped/dried parsley Black pepper Olive oil to deep-fry
Depending on how salty your fish is, you may want to leave the fish in a bowl of water overnight the day before, changing the water at least three times.
Rinse the cod in warm water to remove some of the excess salt. Boil for about six minutes. After boiling, rinse again in warm water to remove any more salt.
Shred the fish. You can use a blender to get it very fine, or it's acceptable to do so by hand. Mash your potato and add to the fish, and mix about. To this, add parsley and pepper.
Beat two egg yolks and one egg white and add to the main mixing bowl. Whisk all around to make a uniform consistency, ready to shape.
The best practice to form the croquettes is to take a
tablespoon, and shape into a sort of thumb. Place the croquettes onto a greaseproof-paper laden plate, ready to fry in copious amounts of olive oil.
Make sure the oil covers the bolinhos, so as to cook for two minutes on each side, keeping in mind you don't want the pan too hot. You need four minutes of frying to really make everything inside come together, and the outside crunchy, and if your oil is too hot, it'll burn before that happens.
Once fried, take out the croquettes and place on a plate with a sheet of kitchen roll underneath to take away some of the excess oil. Present with a fresh lemon to squeeze over on top. Serve!