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Cod with Cream (Bacalhau com Natas)

Cod with Cream (Bacalhau com Natas)
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If you've ever been to Portugal, known a Portuguese person, or even passed by one of us on the street, you've probably tried bacalhau. It's a heavily salted piece of cod that requires curing and then watering before eating. This recipe, cod with cream, is one of the most common ways to eat it (especially in my potato farming family - those potatoes have to get eaten somehow!).

Serves 4.


  • 4 pieces of cod
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 5 lbs potatoes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 6 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 200 ml milk
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • lemon juice (to taste)


Preheat outdoor oven to 350 degrees Celsius.

Put the cod slices in a saucepan with water and bring to a boil; cook until the cod is flaking to ensure done. Turn off the heat and drain the cod with a skimmer. Reserve 500 ml of water from saucepan. Let cod cool slightly and then remove skin and bones. Flake the cod with a fork and set aside.

Peel the potatoes, wash, cut into small squares, and fry them. Once the square fries are golden brown and cooked through, set them aside.

Place the olive oil, chopped onion and chopped garlic in a pan and sauté over low heat until the onion begins to brown slightly.

Add the codfish, stir a little and then add the potatoes and stir a little more. Let that cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set it aside.

Place the butter in a saucepan over low heat. When the butter starts to melt, add the milk, the flour, and a little of the cod water that you set aside earlier and whisk it (add more water as needed).  Add a few drops of lemon juice and whisk. Season it with a little salt and black pepper, whisk it again and let it cook about 2 minutes or until the mixture becomes creamy. Set aside.

In baking dish, cover bottom with white sauce. Add mixture of potatoes, onions, garlic, and flaked fish. Once in the pan, cover mixture with remaining white sauce until covered.

Cook until top is golden brown - about 20 minutes. Break out some tomato and onion salada to go with your Douro wine, and enjoy!



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