Salt Cod Pick-Up
This recipe is my little twist on a traditional Caribbean breakfast dish, Salt Cod Pick Up.
Almost every island has its own variation of this dish using the same basic ingredients; salt cod, onions, tomatoes, and hot peppers. Usually served with fried dumplings, called ‘bakes’ it’s meant to be eaten with your fingers, hence the name ‘Pick Up’.
My version substitutes jalapeño for the traditional habanero, significantly taming the heat. I’ve also added lovely bites of hard boiled quail eggs to the spicy mixture and served them on flour tortillas, making them a little easier to 'pick-up'.
- 250 grams dried salt cod
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 small purple onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 sweet red or orange pepper, coarsely chopped
- 1 medium tomato, finely chopped
- 1 jalapeño pepper, sliced thin
- Juice of 1 fresh lime
- 6 hard-boiled quail eggs, peeled and cut in half
- 4 six inch flour tortillas
The day before you plan to serve these; rinse salt cod well with cold water, put fish in large bowl and cover with cold water. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least a day. Change the water every few hours. This will remove most of the salt from the cod.
To prepare the quail eggs, bring a small saucepan of water to the boil, and gently drop eggs in the water from a spoon. For hard boiled quail eggs, set your timer for 4 minutes, for softer yolks - 3 minutes. Remove eggs from saucepan and place into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. These can be prepared in advance and kept in the fridge, until ready to use.
To make the tacos: put the cod in a large saucepan add milk and enough water to cover, bring up to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until fish flakes easily, about 40 minutes. Drain and rinse the fish in cold water to cool slightly. Shred the fish, using your fingers, remove any skin and bones.
Heat oil in skillet over med/high heat and add onion, bell pepper, and jalapeño. Sautee for 2-3 minutes, and then add flaked fish, and tomato. Stir mixture over heat for another 2-3 minutes, remove from heat and add lime juice.
For each taco, mound about a quarter of the fish mixture in the middle of the tortilla and garnish with sliced hard boiled quail eggs, and serve with some additional lime wedges.