Salt Cod Fritters (Pastéis de Bacalhau)
When this regular tapas bar offering, a supple mixture of salt cod and mashed potatoes fried until burnished brown, is made well, it is much more than a sum of its humble parts.
Why This Recipe Works
Most salt cod fritter recipes we consulted indicated that salt cod requires 24 hours of soaking in several changes of cold water for it to shed its salt and properly rehydrate, and our tests indicated that this step was indeed necessary. Next, we tested different types of potatoes and found that high-starch potatoes—i.e., russet potatoes—yielded the lightest, creamiest fritters. We tried different proportions while making a béchamel sauce to bind the two ingredients until we got the formula right, and then added an egg to our salt cod fritters recipe to give the fritters some structure.