Calliope's Real Greek Food

cooking & stories in my Brooklyn kitchen

Fried salt cod with garlic potato puree

{bakaliaros skordalia}

The Great Lent starts with Clean Monday {Kathari Deytera} and lasts 50 days – until Easter - during which, the Greeks abstain from meat, meat products, fish, eggs and dairy. There are two exceptions to this rule: the Annunciation and Palm Sunday. On those two days, fish is allowed. ‘Bakaliaros skordalia’ is the traditional dish we eat on the 25th of March; it is a double celebration for the Greeks: the Greek Independence and the Annunciation of Virgin Mary! 

Preparation Method for the salt cod

1.     Salt cod needs to soak in water for 24 – 48 hours, otherwise it is too salty to eat

2.     Place the cod in a large bowl of water and change the water every 3-4 hours

3.     As soon as it is ready, place the cod on a plate layered with paper towel to strain the extra water

4.     Cut it into 2 inch pieces and set aside on a plate

Preparation Method for the batter & frying the cod

1.     Start with the batter: use a large bowl and pour in the water, the beer and the dry yeast with the sugar in this order. Finish with a little bit of salt and mix

(You may use 4 packages of dry yeast if you want the batter to be ready instantly – if you can allow 2 hours, use only 1 package of yeast). As soon as the yeast starts to bubble, add the flour and mix

2.     Coat the cod with some flour, dip it in the batter and start frying it in hot oil for 2 minutes on each side

3.     When golden brown, place the fritters on a paper towel layered plate

Preparation Method for ‘skordalia’

1.     Boil the potatoes in salted water until they are soft

2.     Strain them and leave them on the strainer for at least 15 minutes (but no more than 30)

3.     Place the garlic and 1 cup of olive oil in a food processor and mix well

4.     Start mashing the potatoes, adding the garlic mixture, salt, vinegar and extra oil if needed – there is no way to tell how much of each ingredient; taste to tell when it is ready

Ingredients for the cod & batter

-       2 pounds skinless and boned salt cod

-       1 can of lager beer (at room temperature)

-       2 cups of water

-       1 package active dry yeast (or 4 if you do not have the time to wait)

-       2 cups all purpose flour (and some extra for coating the fish)

-       1 tsp. salt (if needed, cod is salty)

-       2 tsp. sugar

-       extra virgin olive oil for frying

Ingredients for ‘skordalia’

-       2 pounds yellow potatoes, peeled and cut in 4 or 6 pieces

-       5 – 6 cloves garlic

-       ½ cup vinegar

-       1 ½ cup extra virgin olive oil

-       salt

-       some parsley for topping




Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Serves: 4 – 6