Salt Cod Fritters (Bacalaitos) with Piquillo Aioli
1 lb salted codfish fillets
soaked overnight
1 qt milk
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
5 garlic cloves
finely minced
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
2 eggs
1 1/2 milk
reserved from simmering codfish
1 cup rice bran or vegetable oil
2 egg yolks
2 piquillo peppers
3 garlic cloves
3 Tbsp lemon juice
cayenne pepper
1/4 cup parsley
finely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup olive oil
1/4 cup water
if needed
Rice bran oil for frying
For the Fritters
Soak cod fish overnight (8-10 hours) in a large bowl covered with cold water. Change water once or twice if possible. Drain and discard soaking water the next day.
Cover cod with 1 quart milk in a pot. Bring to a boil, lower flame, and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain cooking milk, reserving 1 ½ cups for the batter. Shred the cod, remove any bones.
In a large bowl combine the flour, baking powder, garlic, pepper, oregano, and paprika. Whisk in the eggs and 1 CUP reserved milk (save the half cup if the batter needs thinning down), enough to make the consistency like pancake batter. Add the shredded cod and mix thoroughly.
Heat ½ inch of oil in a wide, deep pan (or use deep fryer). Test a small amount of batter to taste for salt and consistency. Drop tablespoons of batter into the hot oil, frying each fritter until golden on both sides. Remove to a tray lined with paper towels. Serve with aioli.
For the Aioli
Blend all the ingredients, except for oils, in a blender or a food processor.
When fully mixed and with the machine still on, add the oils in a slow stream until the mixture has formed a thick emulsion. It should be thicker than heavy cream – add water if it needs thinning. Scrape into a bowl and fold in parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
*For Corn Fritters – replace fish with 3 cups of corn, replace 2 cups of flour with 1 ½ cup of flour and ½ cup of cornmeal and add 2 Tbsp sugar.