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Friday, April 22, 2011

Rellenos de Pescado o Pescado Envuelto (Forrado) para Semana Santa

Ciao friends! I am making Rellenos de Pescado today, as is the tradition during this time of Semana Santa.

You will need the following ingredients:
Salted Cod (Bacalao)
2 Eggs
Flour (all purpose)
Canola or Vegetable Oil
1 can of Garbanzo Beans
2 Tomatoes, chopped in large chunks or wedges
1/2 Onion, finely chopped
1/2 Green Bell Pepper, finely chopped
2 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped
1 Cup Vegetable Broth
1 Tbsp Ground Achiote
2 Tbsp Tortilla Flour
2 Potatoes, peeled and cubed

First thing you need to (This is very important!!) is you will have to buy the salted cod a day ahead and soak it overnight. Change the water 2 or 3 times. You will continue to soak the fish until right before you are ready to cook it. Doing this is necessary in order to get rid of the excess salt.

I always make the Recaudo first ( this is the sauce) and to do this, you will need to add the onion, green pepper, and garlic, together with a cup or so of the broth, into a large, 2 inch deep, lidded pan. Let this simmer for at least 30 minutes while covered.
While this simmers, place the tomato wedges with about a cup of water, into the blender and blend until liquefied. Also, place the achiote into a small bowl, add water, and with your fingers help this dissolve into a sauce. After the 30 minutes, add the tortilla flour, and achiote to the sauce, and then add the tomatoes. Stir well. Cover and simmer for another 20 minutes. Now while this simmers, cook the potatoes to soften, use whatever cooking method you'd like, I like to braise them in a little broth, but even using a steamer basket will do the job, the goal is to soften them a little. After the 20 minutes, add the potatoes and the garbanzo beans, cover and cook for 10 more minutes. You're done with the sauce. Turn off the heat and set aside.
Now, beat the eggs until you create a thick foam. On a large plate, pour the all purpose flour and spread. Drain the water from the fish and dry it with a kitchen towel. Cut in medium sized portions. Heat the canola oil on high in a large deep frying pan. When Oil shimmers, it is hot enough. Coat each piece of fish with flour, then dip in egg, and immediately place in hot oil. Fry each side for about 3 or 4 minutes, always being careful not to burn yourself with the very hot oil and using spatulas to flip them, and to take them out. Once fried, start placing them in the pan with the sauce, and proceed to cook this again on low heat, just so everything will get warm again and the rellenos will get a chance to simmer in the sauce for a little bit to combine all the flavors. Serve warm with rice and tortillas.