I never knew of Bacalao until I came to Norway. We eat lots of cod in Japan, but combining with tomato was new to me. I have learned that original recipe came from Portugal, but it was Norway who provided the dried and salted cod (it is called Klippfisk in Norwegian.) Thus, Norwegian klippfisk came back to Norway with wonderful recipe.
I have once traveled to Kristiansund, and went to visit a little town, called Bud. I don't remember exactly where it was, but we went to a small restaurant which was actually a boat on the shore with a roof attached. And there was only one thing on the menu: Bacalao. So we ate Bacalao. I got hooked, and tried different recipes over the years - Portuguese, Italian, Spanish, and of course, Norwegian. There are different types of Klippfisk, but locally, I couldn't find good and thick filé of Klippfisk in Oslo. So when I visited Barcelona, I went to the market and bought a bag of Norwegian Klippfisk, wrapped in multiple plastic bags and sweaters, and brought it back to Oslo.
This is the easiest recipe I came up with - you just need to bake them in the oven! When I first learned how to make Bacalao, it was to cook in a large pot, but then some of potato or carrot pieces lost its shape by stirring. So, I baked them in a form, and serve directly to the dining table. Just like other types of stew, it tastes best next day, so I absolutely recommend to cook it at least, a day before, and just warm it up before serving.
I don't add any salt as there will be enough salt and flavor from Klippfisk. However, keep pepper shaker on the table!
Ingredients: this recipe is for 4 persons
400-500 g Klippfisk - soaked in water to remove excess salt. It would depend on size and thickness of Klippfisk, but soak them in water ca. 2 days (change water every day.)
3-4 potatoes - peeled and sliced into ca 5 mm thick
2 carrots - peeled and sliced into ca 5 mm thick
1 onion - chopped into a bite size
1 leek - slice into 5 mm thick
1 red paprika - slice into strips
2-3 cloves garlic - roughly chopped
1 cup olive (optional)
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cans of tomatoes
Pepper to taste
1) It would all depends on the thickness of Klippfisk, but soak them in water ca. 2 days (change water every day.)
2) Cook Klippfisk in water until boils, then set aside.
3) Chop vegetables as mentioned above.
4) Pour olive oil in a large pyrex form.
5) From here, we are going to make layers in this form. Add potato, carrots, and paprika
6) Slowly fry garlic and onion with olive oil in a frying pan until onion gets tender and transparent.
7) Add fried onion and garlic on the top of paprika.
8) Take out cooked Klippfisk from the water, and flake them into bite size over onion.
9) Add leeks.
10) Add canned tomatoes and spread evenly to cover the whole layer.
11) Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the oven at 190 C degrees for 1 hour.
12) Let it cool until serving (next day.)
13) Right before serving, heat them up only until warm.