It’s the National Day of Greece today, marking the uprising against the Ottoman Empire in 1821. This year, official celebrations are canceled due to Coronavirus.
You can still celebrate this National Day with this tasty fish dish that has become synonymous with Greece Independence.
March 25th always falls during Lent when eating meat and fish is not allowed. There are only two days during Lent when fish is allowed, and the Feast of the Annunciation is one of those days (Palm Sunday is the other), which is why eating fish on March 25th is so popular, and fish dishes don’t come any more traditional than Bakaliaros (batter-fried cod).
- approx. 1lb (500g) of cod fillets
- a bottle of beer
- 3/4 cup (100g) of all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup (100g) of corn flour / corn starch
- salt and pepper to taste
- sunflower oil
- 3 Russet (or any starchy) potatoes
- 5-6 cloves of garlic
- approx. 1/2 cup (65g) of extra-virgin olive oil
- wine vinegar
- sea salt
- Skordalia (potato and garlic dip – see recipe below. If you can’t buy skordalia and don’t want to make it, the bakaliaros will go well with aioli)
Place your potatoes (you can leave the skins on) in a pot of lightly salted water. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cover. Boil for about 15 minutes until the potatoes are fork tender. Allow the potatoes to cool or drain the water and replace with cold water to speed up the cooling process.
When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel with the back of your knife and and pass through a ricer. Mince the garlic and add to the potato and mix with a fork. Slowly stir in the olive oil. Add sea salt and a dash of wine vinegar. Cover with cling wrap and set aside (or if you are making it in advance, place in the fridge).
Cut the cod into small portions. Season with salt and pepper and dredge in flour and set aside.
Add the flour and corn starch in to a bowl and mix with a fork. While whisking, gradually add the beer to the flour until you get a thick batter (slightly thinner than a pancake batter – you might not need all the beer).
Heat your oil to about 360F and then dip your cod fillets in the batter then place carefully into the hot oil. Fry in batches until golden brown.
Place the fried fillets on a platter covered in paper towels. Sprinkle some sea salt on them, serve with lemon wedges and skordalia.
- 7-8 garlic cloves
- 1 pound (500g) of potatoes
- 1 cup (230ml) olive oil
- Red wine vinegar or lemon juice
- Peel the potatoes cut in cubes and boil in water until soft, about 15 minutes
- Once boiled, strain and mix with a hand mixer until smooth.
- In a food processor process the garlic cloves with a bit of salt until it is a paste.
- Add half of the olive oil in the food processor and continue mixing.
- Add the garlic paste to the potato and mix with a wooden spoon.
- Add the rest of the olive oil gradually, 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing until oil is absorbed.
- Add a bit of red wine vinegar for taste, mix well.