Steal This Recipe® Bacalaito in Rum & Guayaba Sauce

May 08, 2014

From Chef Ricardo Cardona of Sofrito Restaurant, NY

"Stolen with permission" from Chef Ricardo Cardona of Sofrito Restaurant on the Upper East Side is a delicious salt cod recipe. Sofrito’s namesake is an aromatic purée which lends its spicy flavor to many Latin Caribbean dishes. The bright orange color of sofrito was the inspiration for the restaurant’s décor and Sofrito’s refined Puerto Rican food is authentic and affordable. 

A meal at Sofrito, (which is the brainchild of former detective JR Morales), can begin with Aperitivos and Pastelitos, including flaky, crunchy Empanadas, or Tostones Montaditos (fried savory plantains topped with shrimp, codfish, or octopus), the Sofrito Chopped Salad, which comes laden with fresh mint, cilantro, queso blanco, and avocado, or the Carne y Mariscos Fritos, or crispy fried pork, shrimp, and calamari, which is for those who really want to indulge.

Sofrito’s large array of appetizers can make a meal in themselves, but the classic dishes of Puerto Rico are the stars of the menu: a Puerto Rican style Sofrito Paella and Whole Red Snapper stuffed with coconut rice, evoke the flavors usually enjoyed while on vacation. 

About the chef:
 Ricardo Cardona is a self-trained chef with over twenty five years experience in creating cutting edge Nuevo Latino cuisine. His innovative approach blends traditional ingredients in new recipes that take the conventional out of traditional Latin dishes. 

“Anybody can cook rice and beans” he says, “what I try to do I try to invent something that’s never been done before.” His passion for invention has helped him redefine Latin food. His original recipes include such one-of-a-kind creations as Caesar salad with platano croutons and crab cakes that are made with pureed yucca. “Crab cakes are traditionally made with mayonnaise. Instead, I use puree of yucca and fold it in like a mayonnaise and then add cilantro and Latin spices as opposed to the traditional southern spices typically used.” These Latin twists on mainstream dishes have delighted the palettes of his loyal diners. 

400 E 57 St,

Bacalaito in Rum and Guayaba Sauce is served at Sofrito for $19.

This recipe makes 2 restaurant servings.

Bacalaito Ingredients:
1 lb salt cod
1/2 cup beer
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup *Sofrito 
1 tablespoon oregano
1 Tablespoon cilantro
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup of water used to soak the codfish
32 oz canola oil

*Sofrito Ingredients and instructions:
1 medium green peppers, seeds removed
1/2 red sweet pepper, seeds removed
1 large tomato
1 medium onion, peeled
1/2 head of garlic, peeled
1/2 bunch cilantro leaves
1/2 bunch parsley leaves
Chop all ingredients and blend together in a food processor. 
This makes about 2 cups which should be stored in a glass in the fridge.

Guayaba Sauce Ingredients:
1/2 cup guava paste (available on line and in specialty markets)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup white rum

Steal This Recipe® Step by Step Instructions for the Bacalaito:

Soak cod fish in water 1/2 cup of water overnight. 
Save the water.
Break up the cod fish with your hands into chunks.
Mix all of the other ingredients together until the mixture has the consistency of pancake batter.
Coat each piece of fish in a heaping spoonful of the batter and fry at 300 degrees F until the batter is brown.
Remove from oil.
Place on paper towel to drain oil.

Steal This Recipe® Step by Step Instructions for the Guayaba Sauce:

Melt the guava paste in a pot with the water. 
When the guava sauce has turned thick and creamy add the rum.
Remove the pot from the stove top before adding rum.
Pour the Guayaba Sauce over the Bacalaito and serve.

Image may vary from recipe.