Gomes de Sá style codfish | Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá


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Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá is one of the most traditional codfish dishes in Portuguese cuisine. With simple ingredients and preparation, this dish demonstrates all the harmony of the flavors of Portuguese cuisine.

Portuguese cuisine is known for its simple but delicious dishes that make the most of their ingredients. A great example is Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá, one of the classic cod dishes, perfect for bringing the traditional taste of Portugal to your table.

About Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá
The recipe for Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá originated in the city of Porto in the early 20th century. The dish was created by the codfish seller José Luís Gomes de Sá Júnior. However, the popularity of Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá was only consolidated when the author of the dish sold the recipe to his friend, a cook at the Lisbonense restaurant.

In the original recipe, the codfish chips had to be marinated in hot milk for about two hours before preparation. Then the cod was baked in the oven with garlic, onions, and potatoes, always drizzled with lots of olive oil. Before serving, parsley, black olives, and hard-boiled eggs were added.

Over time, the recipe was simplified and gained several adaptations. However, the historical importance of Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá is indisputable, and it is even one of the dishes chosen as a finalist in the award The 7 Wonders of Portuguese Cuisine.

Main ingredients for the Gomes de Sá style codfish


Desalted codfish
The codfish is the big star of this Portuguese dish. To use it in the recipe, the cod must first be desalted in a very simple process that can be done at home. Another option is to buy already desalted cod, an item easily found in fishmongers, emporiums or supermarkets.

Potatoes are an essential ingredient in Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá. For this recipe the potatoes must be cooked but still firm. This ensures that they do not fall apart during preparation.

Hard-boiled eggs and black olives
The hard-boiled eggs and black olives are only added to the Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá when it is finished. However, they are essential ingredients for adding the final touch of flavor to the dish.

Tips for making a perfect Gomes de Sá style codfish
Choosing good ingredients
Gomes de Sá, the inventor of the original recipe, emphasized the importance of selecting good ingredients when preparing your codfish dish.

How to desalt cod
The process of desalting the cod must be done before preparing the recipe. The cod pieces must first be washed under running water.

Then the cod is soaked in a bowl of cold water in the refrigerator with the skin side up. The time required varies according to the size of the pieces (between 24 and 72 hours). This water must be changed periodically.

To check if the codfish has reached the desired salt point, just taste a small piece.

Egg Point
The point of the eggs used in Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá can vary according to your preference. For soft yolks, we recommend a cooking time of 5 minutes. If you prefer creamier yolks, cook for 7 minutes. If you prefer well-cooked eggs with hard yolks, 12 minutes is sufficient. In all cases, the eggs should be at room temperature and placed in the boiling water.

Amount of olive oil
To ensure that the Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá doesn’t become dry, it is important to use plenty of olive oil during preparation.

Variations of the Gomes de Sá style codfish recipe

There are several variations on the Gomes de Sá style codfish recipe to adapt the dish to the ingredients available or to personal taste. Some ideas are:

Potatoes can be substituted for other vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cassava, or Italian zucchini;
You can replace the codfish with other fish;
You can add seafood like shrimp and squid in addition to the cod.
How to serve the Gomes de Sá style codfish
In a special lunch with family or friends, Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá can be served with white rice and a good glass of Portuguese wine.

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