Saturday, March 3, 2018

Baccalà Mantecato- Venetian Appetizer Spread

I'm still dreaming of a trip we took a couple of years ago to Venice.  I was prepared for a stinky, crowded tourist trap city, but was wonderfully surprised and delight with what we saw and experienced there.  I wrote about our food walking tour of Venice here, and this was one of the surprises that we tried at one stop. 

This is a Venetian specialty of whipped salted cod served on slices of bread or polenta.
I'm embarassed to say that I've had this recipe in "draft" mode for over a year, but decided to finally finish it up and post it.  I know that most people won't go to the trouble to find the dried cod (you can order it on Amazon though!) and make this, but it was so delicious and not fishy!

We had a couple's party after the trip and we all brought small plates of tapas to share.  This is what I made. We had a great time and shared our memories of a great trip.

Serves 6 - 8
Prep Time: 3 days
Cook Time: 30 mins


1/2 Pound of Dried Cod
2 Cloves Garlic
1 Bay Leaf
Salt & Pepper
Good Olive Oil
To Serve:
Cracked Black Pepper

Cut the cod into pieces and place them into a pan full of water.
Leave it in water for 2 to 3 days, changing the water twice daily.

After soaking, change the water again and place the cod and water, along with a bay leaf and cook for 30 minutes on low heat, removing any foam that comes to the surface.

After 30 minutes, remove the cod from the pan and place in a container with high sides.
Remove the skin and the bones from the cod and add 2 gloves of garlic.
I used my food processor to mix this, slowly adding the olive oil to get the desired consistency.  It should be soft and fluffy when it's ready. The quantity of the oil will depend on the cod itself.Continue mixing until the cod turns light and has a whipped, mousse-like texture. Taste and add salt if required.

Serve on fresh cut bread slices or grilled slices of polenta.
Sprinkle top with some cracked black pepper.

Below is a picture of a plaque in the fish market, that shows the standard sizes that the fish must be.  I believe our guide told us that the sign was hundreds of years old. 

Just outside the fish market, you can catch a gondola ride across the grand canal. Sigh, what a great trip.

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