Steal This Recipe® Bacalao | Zuzu, CA

Recipes
February 21, 2013

Steal This Recipe® Bacalao | Zuzu, CA

From Chef Angela Tamura

'Stolen with permission' from Chef Angela Tamura of ZuZu Restaurant in Napa, California, Bacalao is a traditional Mediterranean dish of dried salt cod, which has been desalted, cooked and then pureed with mashed potatoes, cream, and butter. This dish is rich and not salty at all. Bacalao is delicious when made into fritters, coated with breadcrumbs and deep-fried, or served stuffed into a roasted sweet pepper. Chef Tamura prepares it more simply, accompanying it with white truffle oil and a crispy garlic crostini.

About the chef: Angela Tamura is a native of New England who now calls California home. Although she has been cooking all her life, a prerequisite with an Italian mother, she has been doing so professionally for only 12 years. Tamura attended and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania before finally realizing her senior year that what she really wanted to do was cook and create good food.

After working her way through several kitchens, she decided to attend the New England Culinary Institute in Essex, Vermont. As part of her education, she took two demanding internships. One at the Ritz-Carlton on Amelia Island, Florida and one at Rialto Restaurant in Cambridge, Massachusetts. After fulfilling all of her school requirements she stayed on at Rialto for another two years to continue learning from James Beard Award Winning Chef Jody Adams. From her time at Rialto, Tamura thought it would be great to see the Wine Country and learn more about food and wine together so she moved to Napa and took the position of Sous Chef at Bistro Don Giovanni eventually moving up to Chef de Cuisine.

In 2001, after taking time to get married, she joined the team at ZuZu. She felt a real affinity for the tapas concept and enjoyed the flexibility and creativity it afforded. She stayed on a year before being coaxed away to San Mateo to become Executive Chef at Central Park Bistro. Now, back at Zuzu as Executive Chef and really coming into her comfort zone, Tamura is enjoying playing with small plates. She has a real love of Spanish and Latin American cuisine and is starting to explore other regions of the Mediterranean such as Morocco and Greece for added inspiration.

ZuZu 
829 Main Street 
Napa, CA 94559 
707 224 8555

Bacalao is served at ZuZu for $11.00. 
This recipe makes 2 restaurant appetizer servings.

Bacalao Ingredients: 
3/4 lb salt cod 
1/4 yellow onion 
5 garlic cloves, chopped 
1 celery stalk 
1 bay leaf 
1 cup white wine 
1 russet potato, peeled and cut 
1/2 cup heavy cream 
1/4 cup butter, unsalted 
1/2 tsp white truffle oil + a little more to drizzle on top

Steal This Recipe® Step-by-Step Instructions: 
Soak the cod overnight in cold water, changing the water a couple of times. 
Remove the fish from the water and clean away any bone or skin. 
In a small saucepan put in the cleaned fish, chopped onion, garlic, celery, bay leaf and white wine and cover with cold water. 
Bring the saucepan to a boil and allow to simmer for 15 minutes.
In a separate pan, place the potato and cover with cold water, simmer until the potato is soft, and drain placing through a ricer. 
Heat the cream together with the butter in a separate pan until the butter has melted.
Remove the fish from the liquid and place it in a small food processor. 
Add the cream and melted butter to the food processor and pulse lightly. 
Combine the mixture in the food processor, add the truffle oil and mix well using a rubber spatula or spoon. (Do not mix the potato together with the fish using the food processor or the mixture will become starchy – mix the potato in by hand with a rubber spatula or spoon).
Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste.
At ZuZu, Bacalao is served in a clay baking dish after running it under the broiler to brown it slightly.
 
Photo by Melinda Richards