I had this traditional Cretan dish cooked for me on Palm Sunday by Maria Hamilaki, a fantastic lady cook at the village Agios Spiridonas, in Sitia. Salted Bacalhau was used for many years in island cooking especially in villages that were on the mountains and their access to sea was not possible. Tomato paste is used instead of fresh tomatoes because of the season.
Olive oil 1/3cups
Bakalhau (salted cod) 600grms cut to portions of 100grms
Onion white 1 big one diced
Leeks 2 sliced
Fresh fennel about 2 cups full chopped and some of the soft stalks
Potatoes 500grms peeled and diced
Tomato paste 1/2cup
Salt and pepper to taste
Soak the bakalhau pieces in water at room temperature for 24 hours changing the water every 6 hours
Pour olive oil in a soup pot and cook the onions and leeks for about 5 minutes
Add the fennel and top with enough water to cover all ingredients. Bring to boil and simmer for about 15 minutes.
Add the tomato paste and cook for another 5 minutes.
Add the fish and the potatoes in the stew, add some more water to cover the fish and simmer for about 20 minutes more for most of the water to evaporate, potatoes must be cooked and the sauce thickens.
Adjust the salt and pepper to taste.
Recipe from Maria Hamilaki
Watch video here