Bolinhos de Bacalhau
Salted Cod Fish Fritters
Bolinhos de Bacalhau is one of the most frequently prepared foods in Portugal. Bacalhau(Salted Cod fish) is one of the most popular, if not the most popular food in Portugal. Any feastive occasion would be incomplete without a dish of Bacalhau. The Portuguese are fond of saying there are 1000 ways to prepare bacalhau. Bolinhos de Bacalhau is one of the most common methods. Therefore, with some confidence, I can say that there is not a missionary from the Portugal Porto mission that has not eaten them.
Although they originated in northern Portugal, these golden fritters are now served throughout the country. Accompany with piri-piri sauce or a few lemon wedges.
Recipe for piri-piri sauce.

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  • ˝ lb (250 g) boneless salt cod, soaked
  • 2 boiling potatoes, about 10 oz (315 g) total
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons each chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian
  • 1 parsley and fresh cilantro (fresh coriander)
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Milk if needed
  • Olive oil or vegetable oil for deep-frying

Drain the cod and place in a saucepan with water to cover. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until tender, 10-15 minutes. Drain and, when cool enough to handle, flake the cod, removing any bits of skin and small bones. Pulse in a food processor until finely shredded, then place in a bowl.

Meanwhile, combine the potatoes with water to cover, bring to a boil, and boil until tender, 20-30 minutes. Drain and, when slightly cooled, peel and mash until smooth. Add to the salt cod.

In a small sauté pan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the onion and sauté until tender, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the contents of the sauté pan to the cod mixture and mix well. Fold in the eggs, parsley, and cilantro.
Season with cayenne pepper and black pepper. The mixture should be the consistency of firm mashed potatoes. If it is too stiff, beat in a little milk.. Form into balls 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter.

In a deep, heavy frying pan, pour in oil to a depth of 2 inches (5 cm) and heat to 375 F (190 C). Add the balls, a few at a time, and fry until golden, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels and drain. Serve at once. (Serves 6-8)

Click here to see Bolinhos de Bacalhau being served at a Portuguese wedding.
Source, Savouring Spain and Portugal