Anita’s Salt Cod

A flavoursome dish from the late Anita d’Assumpção, who for decades delighted guests at the Clube Macau with her creations.

Bacalhoada from Anita d’Assumpção via Alberto “Acaio” d’Assumpção, Gastronomia Macaense – Comunidade Macaense de São Paulo e do Rio de Janeiro, Projecto Memória Macaense, created by Rogério P.D. da Luz

500g|1.25lb dried salt cod (soaked and hydrated)
16 quail eggs, hard boiled and peeled
4 medium potatoes, peeled, cut to half moons
1-1/2 medium onions, halved and cut to half moons
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
bunch coriander, torn or chopped
2 tablespoons of coconut milk
1/2 cup|120ml of reserved cooking water
white pepper
1/2 cup|120ml of virgin olive oil
16 pitted black olives
16 pitted green olives
3-4 sprigs of rosemary, chopped

Peel the potatoes, slice to half moons and put in a bowl of cold water.
To cook the quail eggs bring a large pan of water to a boil. Gently lower the quail eggs into the water with a spoon. Cook for 3 minutes and then remove with a spoon to a bowl of cold water to cool.
Place the salt cod in a pan with enough water to cover. Heat to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for 8-10 minutes. Remove the cod from the pan and reserve the liquid to cook the potatoes. Remove the skin and any bones from the cod, break the cod into medium sized chunks and set aside.
Cook the sliced potatoes in the reserved salt cod cooking water, simmer for about 8 minutes. Remove the potatoes from the pan and set aside, reserve the cooking liquid.
Peel and slice the onions to half rings, peel and chop the garlic finely.
Carefully peel the cooled quail eggs.
Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a wok or large frying pan, add the onion and fry over medium heat until translucent, add the garlic and cook for a few more minutes.
Rip up the coriander and add to the pan, then add the salt cod, the potatoes, the green and black olives, the quail eggs, the coconut milk and 1/2 cup|120ml of the reserved cooking liquid. Season with white pepper and stir through.
Heat the stew to a simmer and cook for 3 minutes stirring gently. Remove from the heat, transfer to a serving dish and drizzle generously with olive oil and chopped rosemary.

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