Baccala, or salted codfish, is a favorite dish of the Italians and Portuguese. This is one of the many ways to bake cod. - See more at: http://Cook123.com
Felicia Mohan Ciaramitaro grew up cooking with her mother and grandmother. She developed a series of how-to videos that demonstrate culinary techniques of genuine Italian-American home cooking. She is currently writing a cookbook based on her community's treasured traditional Sicilian recipes.
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This evening, we have got the godmother of Gloucester, joining us in my kitchen. Something I've been looking forward to for a very long time. So I thank you, Sefatia, for taking time out of your schedule to come with me today.
It's my pleasure. It's my pleasure. And I've been hearing for all these years, Felicia's recipes, Felicia's recipes. Not this Felicia, her grandmother, Felicia. And I was just curious of different cultures from Italy. Because when you talk about Sicily, you have different islands in Sicily, and you have different towns. And they all have different recipes.
But the basic is the seven fishes. How we cook them, and what we do with them is totally different. Come and watch. I'm learning something new. And then I will teach my friend, who I call Giada, and I'm her Dom DeLuise, because she loves to cook and I love to eat it.
So we're off in our kitchen today. And I'll start off by taking the godmother ring off for today.
All right. This is a recipe that I grew up with, remembering all my uncles, all the men in our family joining on Christmas Eve at my grandmother's house. A recipe I can honestly tell you I did not enjoy as a child, but I've learned to appreciate as an adult.
Very, very pleased to see that the different mushrooms, the onion, the leeks, celery, and the olives. And I see some capers and sauce. Because back way when I was real young-- and I'm not old-- from Terrasini, where my mother was actually born, they would do just a plain, basic recipe. But it's the same thing, the cod.
And also, in Portugal, they would have the same thing for Christmas, the cod. And, as we all know, what is Massachusetts' fish? The cod. So sacred cod. And look at this beautiful piece of fish. Amazing.
So when you see this fish, and you feel it, it's salted. So this can stay for the longest time. You can keep it in your freezer for almost a year, technically. And what they do is, actually, you see some of the homes, the fishermen, they would actually salt it then they would hang it in their basements like this. Hang it. And when I went down there, I though that was my grandmother's stockings. But they were the cod. So it's like, OK.
So actually, after you see it hanging, you saw it that way, I never wanted to try it. But what I missed was a lot.
I picked this up yesterday, actually, the salted cod. And I got a big pan of water. I vividly remember my grandmother having a large sink in her basement. And she would fill the sink up, put all the salted cod in. And she would change the water every half hour. She actually would do it for three days.
Yes. If it's really salted, the ones that we used to hang in the basement, you really would have to do it for three days. The reason why I'm smelling it, because someone says well, you can't smell it, because it's salted. But that's what you want to smell-- the freshness of the salt.
You can. There is the difference between the stale salted cod. See how it's so easy to cut. That means it's perfectly ready.
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