Bacalhau no forno com batatas, or baked cod with potatoes, is a dish that I fell in love with when I visited Portugal. It’s a simple but satisfying meal that showcases the flavor and texture of cod, one of the most versatile and nutritious fish.
Bacalhau no forno com batatas is one of the many ways that Portuguese people prepare cod. In fact, cod is so popular in Portugal that there are said to be more than 1,000 recipes for it.
Some of the most famous ones include bacalhau à brás (cod with eggs and potatoes), bacalhau à Gomes de Sá (cod with onions and olives), and bacalhau com natas (cod with cream). But my favorite is bacalhau no forno com batatas because it’s easy to make and requires only a few ingredients.
The secret to making this dish is to use salted cod, which is cod that has been preserved by drying and salting. Salted cod has a firmer texture and a more intense flavor than fresh cod. You can find salted cod at specialty markets or online.
Before cooking it, you need to soak it in water for at least 24 hours to remove the excess salt and rehydrate it. Change the water several times during this process.
Once the cod is ready, you can assemble the dish in a baking dish with sliced potatoes, onion rings, bell pepper strips, bay leaves, olive oil, white wine, salt and pepper. You can also add other ingredients like garlic cloves or cherry tomatoes if you like.
Then you just bake it in the oven until everything is golden and tender. The result is a hearty and delicious dish that you can serve with a green salad or some crusty bread.
Bacalhau no forno com batatas is perfect for any occasion: a family dinner on a weeknight or a festive meal on a holiday. It’s also great for leftovers: you can reheat it in the oven or make sandwiches with it. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!
- 4 cod loins soaked
- 2.2 lb of small potatoes
- 2 large onions
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 red bell pepper
- 4 bay leaves
- Olive oil as needed
- Salt as needed
- In a baking dish, arrange the onion, garlic, bell pepper and bay leaves on the bottom.
- On top, place the cod loins and drizzle everything with olive oil.
- Finally, surround with the potatoes and season them with some salt crystals.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 350°F for 40 minutes.
- You can add other ingredients to make your baked cod with potatoes more flavorful and colorful. Some possible ingredients are: tomato, garlic, paprika, white wine, lemon zest or chives. You can add these ingredients to the baking dish along with the cod, potatoes, onion, bell pepper and bay leaves, or sprinkle them on top before serving. Experiment and see what you like best!
- Look for salted cod that is firm and dry, not soft or moist. It should have a uniform color and a pleasant smell. Avoid salted cod that is discolored, moldy, or has a strong odor.
- Choose salted cod that has been properly trimmed and cleaned of bones and skin. You can buy it whole or in pieces, depending on your preference and the size of your baking dish.
- Check the label for the origin and type of cod. The best salted cod comes from cold waters like Norway, Iceland, or Canada. The most common types of cod used for salting are Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) and Pacific cod (Gadus macrocephalus). Both have a mild flavor and flaky texture.
- Store salted cod in a cool and dry place away from sunlight and heat. You can keep it in its original packaging or wrap it in parchment paper or cloth. Salted cod can last for several months if stored properly.