Tuesday 7 July 2009

Pasteis de Bacalhau

As I've previously mentioned, one of my favourite bloggeuses is Baby Chou from Le Moulin. Her blog is stuffed with mouthwatering recipes from the area of France where she lives so I thought it would be fitting if I responded with a traditional Azorean dish - pasteis de bacalhau. These are traditional potato fish cakes simply reeking of the culinary flavours of the islands.

The most important thing for this dish is to select the right brand. After much road-testing, I've concluded that Pérola da Ilha and Frigaçor are total pants and that the pasteis of choice are made by Prato d' Ouro. Easily recognisable by the red and gold logo, they can be found in the freezers of most shops on Flores:-

Carefully peel the wrapper off and bang them a bit ("Suits you sir!") to separate and place on one side. Meanwhile heat the oil in a deep fat fryer. Again, much experience has taught me that the choice of oil is crucial. I prefer Fula oil:-

I can remember television adverts for cooking oil in the 70s - before deep fat frying became about as politically incorrect as pederasty - when the mark of a good oil was that, when you took the chips out, they scarcely made a spot on a piece of kitchen roll. Can you remember that? "New Spry - Crisp and Dry" was the jingle. Well, I can promise you that Fula passes the kitchen roll test and produces pasteis as crisp and dry as New Spry.

OK, so you get the picture. Chuck the pasteis into the pan, recoil backwards as a gobbet of hot oil gets you in the eye (blooming painful, I'm not joking) and the rest of it skitters over the hob. Remember to set the extractor fan to full for all the bloody use it is.

Serve with a swirl of Thai chili dipping sauce and a cold bottle of Sagres beer. Ecstasy on a plate - ultimate hangover cure:-

Cook along to Handel's Zadok the Priest (although Tommy Gun by The Clash works just as well if you can't find Zadok.)


Sarah said...

Ha bloody ha!!

Kathie said...

Uh, could you please hold the cod, chili sauce and Sagres? I'd really rather have a pastel de natas instead, washed down with a cuppa, thankyouverymuch!

Anonymous said...

A bit like fish finger sandwich! Although that needs Heinz tomato ketchup rather than chilli sauce, and the accompaniment has to be Irn Bru for the true hangover remedy.

Neil King said...

Ooh stop it, Anonymous, you're making me hungry! They do have fish fingers out here but they taste a bit too much of - well - fish for my taste. Chip butties anyone?

Mary said...

Does that say 10? Where is the other one? Anonymous, if you like fish finger sandwiches, you'll love Chicken Kiev in a roll - followed quite swiftly by a Caramel Log, all washed down with a pint of ginger beer. Bliss!

Kathie said...

Mary asks, "Does that say 10? Where is the other one?"

My hunch is that it was sacrificed on the altar of "quality control" ;-)

Neil King said...

Well spotted Mary. The truth is Carol gets one and I get nine - the pic was obviously taken after Carol's one had been extracted. She pads her lunch out with horrid salady stuff I don't care for. Chicken Kiev on a roll sounds divine - look out for a further blog entry on hot dogs out of a tin.