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European Peasant Cookery
by Elisabeth Luard
Bakalarios (Greece)

The saga of the salt cod continues in Greece, where bakalarios, fritters - soaked, deboned, skinned salt cod cut into bite-sized pieces, battered and deep-fried - are eaten with a garlicky skordolia. This, a rather more sophisticated recipe, makes a little luxury go further.
Quantity: Serves 6 (4 Greek sailors)
Time: Start a day or two ahead
Preparation: 30-40 minutes plus an hour or two rest period.


    • 500g/1 lb salt cod
    • 500g/1 lb potatoes
    • 150g/4 pint milk
    • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
    • 2 eggs
    • 50g/2 oz hard cheese
    • Freshly-ground pepper
    • All-purpose flour
    • Breadcrumbs
    • Oil for frying

Utensils: 2 saucepans and a frying pan


Soak the cod for 24-48 hours in several changes of water.

Drain and transfer to a saucepan with enough fresh water to cover. Bring to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, then drain, skin, de-bone, flake and mash it with a fork. Peel and then boil die potatoes until soft in salted water. Drain and mash them well with the milk.

Separate one of the eggs and reserve the white. Beat the yolk and the other egg into die mashed fish. Beat in the mashed potatoes. Add pepper - you are not likely to need extra salt. Grate the cheese and stir it in. Stir in the well-chopped parsley. Leave the mixture to firm up in the refrigerator for an hour or two.

Form the mixture into croquettes and roll them first in flour, then in the egg white, and then in the breadcrumbs. Put the oil on to heat. When it is smoking faintly blue, slide in the croquettes and fry them crisp. Serve with a beetroot salad and a generous bowl of skorddalia. Food for heroes and Greek sailors.

Suggestions: Instead of salt cod, replace with fresh cod, salted overnight (allow 1 teaspoon salt per pound offish).

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