- 4desalted bacalao cod loins, weighing 5-6 ounces each
- 2bay leaves
- 3medium red onions, peeled and sliced
- 3garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
- 10dried choricero peppers
- 1/2cup white wine
- 1tsp sweet smoked paprika
- 1slice (~1 ½-inch thick) crusty bread, toasted and broken into small pieces
- 4tbsp olive oil
- 1cup seafood stock
- 1tsp sea salt plus more to taste
- Chopped fresh parsley, to garnish
In a small sauce pot, prepare the choricero peppers by pricking a few holes in the peppers and boiling them for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover, and let sit for 30 minutes. Remove the peppers from the water. Cut the peppers open, remove seeds and lay flat on a cutting board skin side down. With the back side of a knife or a spoon scrape the inside flesh away from the skins to a small bowl.
Place the bay leaves and bacalao pieces in a shallow pan, skin side up. Cover with water and one tablespoon of the olive oil and heat the water over medium heat without boiling for about 5 minutes until the bacalao releases its gelatin. (The bacalao will finish cooking in the sauce.) Remove the bacalao carefully and set aside to a bowl with some cooking juices to keep it moist, drain the remaining cooking liquor through a fine mesh sieve and reserve.
In a medium size saucepan, heat the rest of the olive oil, add the onions and garlic and cook on medium-low heat for 20 minutes until very soft and starting to color. Once the onions are lightly colored, add the choricero pepper pulp, white wine, chopped toasted bread and 1 cup of the bacalao cooking juices. Continue to cook on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally for fifteen minutes.
Season the sauce with sea salt and place in a food processor or blender. Blend until fully combined, the sauce should have the consistency of a tomato sauce. If you need to thin it down slightly add more cooking liquor or fish stock.
Return the fish to the same sauce pan skin side down and pour the sauce over the fish. Warm the sauce gently for about 8-10 minutes for the salt cod to finish cooking.
Garnish with fresh parsley and serve immediately with smoky roasted potatoes, a crisp green salad and Spanish white or rosé wine.