Today’s dish is a combination of some of my most favourite ingredients.
First of all, bacalao.
In spite of the fact that in Greece we do not have the top quality bacalao of Spain, I cannot resist the urge to cook bacalao as often as I can.
I loooove garlic.
Last, but not least, the freshest zucchini from farms a few kilometers away from my home.
Respect for the ingredients should be reflected in the way they are prepared and cooked.
One of the best ways to express this respect with the specific ingredients is to “confit” the garlic and the bacalao.
I start by placing the garlic cloves in a frying pan with olive oil that covers half of the clove’s height.
The temperature should be low enough so that the garlic is not fried, but “boiled” in the olive oil
Once the garlic has started assuming a “brownish” color, I place the bacalao fillets in the pan without adding more oil.
The garlic has infused the oil with its aroma and fragrance, and makes the slow cooking process a very fragrant one.
I keep the heat low, so that the bacalao and garlic mix “boils” and not fries.
After 40 minutes or so, depending always on the thickness of the fillets, the fish is cooked.
While the fish was cooking slowly, I cut and floured the zucchini sticks and flowers, and then fried in corn oil.
I serve the fillets on top of the garlic cloves, sprinkled with chopped parsley, with the sticks and flower on the side.
The fish is soft, juicy and tasty from the garlic infused oil, while the garlic cloves melt in your mouth and are just divine.
The crunchy zucchini flower is fragrant and provides the necessary textural contrast to the fish and garlic.
Finally, the zucchini sticks are somewhere in the middle in terms of texture, while their almost sweet taste brings a nice complement to the savoury fish.
I enjoyed the dish with a glass of Avantis Estate Syrah.