Cod, star of Lent and Easter
After Carnival, Lent arrives, it is a good time to pay tribute to one of the most representative ingredients of gastronomy at this time of year, cod or, more specifically, salted cod.
Each cut gives the best result for a specific preparation, and to get the most out of the cod you have to know that it has at least five parts.
The loin is the most noble part. Having more meat and less skin, it is less mellow, but well worked it melts in the mouth, and has the quality of separating into sheets. It has a subtle and gently salty taste. Traditionally it has been cooked fried or confit in oil at low temperature, to then add sauces; Biscayne, samfaina, honey, muslin ... Modern cuisine has learned to cook it under vacuum, put in a plastic bag, between 65 ° C-75 ° C for 4-5 minutes; It is similar to candied and whole. At home, you can achieve the same thing by putting it in a deep dish covered with kitchen wrap and microwaving it at full power for 60 to 90 seconds.
Crumb is a fibrous meat, and for this reason it is used in salads, marinades such as ceviche and dishes that require elaboration or processing, such as brandadas, fritters, hamburgers ... It is taken from various parts of the animal - thorn, pencas, gills, cogote, cola € -, so there are various degrees of quality.
The belly, these areas, being very in contact with the skin, have a lot of gelatin, which gives them mellow. They are also softer than the loin, melt in the mouth earlier and are not laminated. They can be cooked with the same preparations as the loin, although always giving them less minutes, since they are less thick pieces; but to take advantage of its sweetness, they tend to be used more for casserole dishes. Fries are also interesting.
The cocochas are the dewlap of the cod, a very meaty part that does not laminate like the loin and is eaten with a fork and knife. Although the hake are more famous, they are more mellow. They are therefore ideal for cooking pilpil, coated in tempura with romesco sauce, candied at low temperature or with a green sauce.
Corns, what is known as cod corns is the fish's swim bladder. It has a slimy texture like octopus or scallop, and is very mellow in the mouth, with a very powerful flavor and a gelatinous touch that persists on the lips. The trick to make good use of them is to clean them correctly and get the cooking point right. You have to put them under the tap, with lukewarm water, and completely remove a black cloth that is attached to the meat. Then they are cooked from cold water with a clove of garlic and two bay leaves, between 5 and 7 minutes from when it begins to bubble. They are removed, tested and if they are not yet put on the fire 3 more minutes. To avoid hardening, they are left in the same water, which will preserve the gelatin; this will last up to three days.