Bacalao Stuffed Piquillo Peppers (Piquillo Rellenos de Bacalao)
Bacalao stuffed piquillo peppers may be one of the more unusual tapas you’ll come across on this site, but it is extremely popular in Spain, and a staple of many restaurants and bars. If you’ve never had piquillo peppers before I implore you to give them a try. These days they are available at most groceries in America, or you can always buy them online. These are actually the same peppers I used in my Pasta Alla Camembert Crema that was posted last week.
If you’ve never cooked with bacalao before, it is not a difficult ingredient. All it is, is salted dried codfish. As you can see in the picture the fish does not look dry, and that’s because you have to somewhat reconstitute it before using it. All you have to do is place the fish in a bowl of cold water and let rest for 48 hours. Change the water every 12 hours to remove the excess salt. So, if you plan on making this dish for a party, better start the cod a few days beforehand.
Bacalao Stuffed Piquillo Peppers Ingredients
12 Piquillo Peppers; jarred. It’s better to use jarred than fresh for this recipe, as the peppers will be soft and pliable.
150 grams Bacalao; this is a salted dried codfish that you can get at most groceries these days, but if you can’t find it, Amazon has great prices here.
3 tbsp Olive Oil
3 tbsp Flour; you can increase this if your fish is too soggy
2 tbsp Milk
1 Tomato; chopped
1 Onion; chopped
2 cloves Garlic; minced
2 tbsp White Wine
1 tsp Salt; to taste.
Bacalao Stuffed Piquillo Peppers Instructions
1. You have to begin this recipe at least two days in advance to properly reconstitute the codfish/bacalao (Let the fish soak in a bowl of cold water in the fridge for 48 hours, change the water every 12-18 hours). If the fish is already reconstituted you can continue on to step 2.
2. In a large bowl add the cod, flour, 1 tbsp of olive oil, and milk and mix everything up. You want to form a sort of puree/paste that you will stuff into the peppers.
3. In a saucepan add the olive oil and heat. Add the onion and tomato and let cook until soft. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Turn the heat up higher, and add the white wine and let that cook down. Use a potato masher to break up all the tomato and onion pieces into more of a puree. Taste and add salt if needed. Let cool.
4. Take a piquillo pepper and fill it with the cod mixture. Place each stuffed piquillo pepper in a glass or ceramic casserole dish (or any large flat dish). When all the peppers are placed, pour over the cooled tomato sauce and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving.
These are best eaten within 2 days of making them, although they should hold for up to a week in the refrigerator if they are sealed well.
Also, if you are interesting in the little tapas plate featured in this picture, it is from the amazing Granada artist Mariam López. All of her works are inspired by the technique and styling of the decorations of the Nasrid Palace in The Alhambra. You can follow her on Instagram or go to her shop, Nua Barcelona to purchase her wares.