Caldeirada de Bacalhau - Portuguese Cod Fish Stew

Caldeirada de Bacalhau - Portuguese Cod Fish Stew
After about a month of no posts except the Daring Cook's post, I figured it's time for me to start up again. I've been busy the last few months working with Made in Kitchen as the English Blog Editor and Community assistant.

This has done a few things for me... It's given me a great opportunity to learn more about food, how to cook certain things and then teach that to the readers there. It's also taken much of my time and made it difficult to keep up with my own blog. But for those that are much more interested in Acquired Taste, you'll be happy to know that I have a lot more time on my hands now, as for the moment I will be able to focus on this blog more.

The great people at Made in Kitchen decided they needed to reevaluate a few things, and I get to have some time off to work on my own stuff and hopefully be able to bring about some new blog content. Also I get the chance to figure out how to split my time between here and there better, when I go back.

I've really missed sharing with everyone through Acquired Taste and with this break, I will be able to blog here more frequently! I miss being able to use my own voice to describe things and to explain how to cook a dish with my own notes and hints as to what works best.

Hopefully, I will also be able to post more frequently than I have in the past 6 months, or at least that's my plan :D.

Now on to the recipe!!

Cod fish stew, or Caldeirada De Bacalhau, is a Portuguese dish that my mother-in-law decided to post on her blog back in early April (Yes, that's how long ago that I made this dish. I had planned on getting it up much sooner than this... ). When I saw it and read the ingredients, I wanted to give it a try as it sounded great. I also had some salted cod fish fillets just for this sort of thing, thanks to my father-in-law who had sent us a care package with salted cod, cheese, and chorizo.
Caldeirada de Bacalhau - Portuguese Cod Fish Stew

Caldeirada de Bacalhau - Portuguese Cod Fish Stew
Adapted from Helenismos
  • 6 large potatoes
  • 2 large onions
  • 5 fresh tomatoes or 1 can tomatoes (diced or stewed, not paste)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 4 pieces of dry and salted cod, rehydrated (or fresh cod)
  • 1 cup water (fish broth or white wine also works) 
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
First of all decide if you want to keep the potatoe skins or not. I like to keep mine on as that is where all the good stuff is (The hubby assures me that he never had potatoes with the skin left on until he came to Canada). Make sure they are cleaned well, and cut them down the middle lengthwise. Cut them in to half circles about ½ to 1 inch thick, and set aside.

Next slice the onions and garlic thinly. One great tip when slicing onions, is that if you leave the root on, it seems to help keep the fumes down so that you eyes won’t water!

Slice the bell peppers into strips and cube the tomatoes if you are lucky enough to have fresh tomatoes. I used diced canned tomatoes, as I’m not willing to spend money on fresh tomatoes and then cook them (I use my tomatoes for salad or just eatting raw. Once I have plenty that I’ve grown at home, then I will cook with them fresh!)

As for the cod fish, if you aren’t using fresh cod, you need to rehydrate the dried and salted cod in cool water for 24 hours before using. Make sure to change the water every 6 hours, this will reduce the amount of salt as well. If you can go longer than 24 hours then do so. Cut the cod into chunks.

In a large pot, take 1/3 of the onions and garlic and layer them on the bottom. On top of that 1/3 of the potatoes and the bay leaf. Next, layer 1/3 of the pepper and 1/3 of the tomato. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Remember that the cod used in this recipe has been salted, and even though much of it has been removed during the re-hydrating process, you will not need much salt for flavoring. Repeat each of these layers 2 more times.

Top off with the cod fish, olive oil drizzled on top and a bit of salt and pepper and add in the water.

Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium low, cover and allow it to simmer for about 1 hour. After done cooking, allow it to sit for about 30 minutes, covered.
Caldeirada de Bacalhau - Portuguese Cod Fish Stew

This is excellent with the rich tomato and fish broth flavor! It’s also great with some crusty homemade bread to use to sop up the broth!

I admit this is definitly more of a cold weather dish or for spring or fall, but only half the world is in summer at the moment, and it’s good for those rainy and cool summer days too!


Steve said...

You have been missed. I was happy to see this post no matter what it was about.

Unknown said...

Aww Thanks! Glad to know that I've been missed, hopefully I'll be able to keep posting more often :D

Cristina - Teenie Cakes said...

Oh Rochelle - I'd love to taste this sounds so good and you've presented it so beautifully. I've not worked with salted cod before. Looks like comfort food, for sure! :)

Belinda @zomppa said...

Great classic, healthy dish!

penny aka jeroxie said...

Ohhh! I want to try and make this again.

Bonnie said...

I too am really glad you are back and intend to be more active with Aquired Taste.
The recipe sounds really great. If and when I find some cod fish I will try it.

Helenismos said...

Very well done! It looks really yummy! As for the potatoes with the it definitely is a North American thing! :0)

Susan @ The Spice Garden said...

This fish stew is such a blast from my past! When I got out of college, I lived in Gloucester, MA where there is a huge Italian and Portugese population. There is also a huge fishing fleet there ... hence codfish in all its manisfestations. This recipe was a common offering at church suppers and commmunity parties... what a wonderful food memory, you've given me with this post!

Isabelle said...

Welcome back!
My Portuguese grandmother used to make this stew when I was a little one... It's one of my favourites, but I rarely bother to make it for myself because I can't stand the smell of salted cod while it's soaking. Thanks for letting me live vicariously through your delicious photos instead. :)

Cookin' Canuck said...

This stew sounds fantastic - what flavors! I'm glad to hear that you'll be back to posting more frequently. I always enjoy your blog.

Christine said...

Hello! Congratulations!!! Your blog is the Food blog of the day in Foodista today!

Anonymous said...

Interesting. From where I born from -- Azores Island.. They dont used the green peppers, tomatoes, and soupy water. Obviously, it is different from my mom and grandma's recipe. I loved their cooking of Portuguese Cod Fish Stew. Delicious.

Anonymous said...

Hello. And Bye.