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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Pick-Up Saltfish

By Juvy S. Iliwiliw

Saltfish is a staple throughout the Caribbean, providing a rich, salty flavor for simple dishes like fritters, steamed callaloo, and rice. This dish is called "pick-up saltfish" because the salt cod is pulled apart and shredded. It is made into a salad that's eaten for breakfast or brunch with coconut bake or crackers. It's a good party snack, too.

There is a need for the salt cod in this recipe to soak overnight, so start this recipe a day ahead. Salt cod is available at some supermarkets and at specialty foods stores.


You will need:

1 12-ounce piece dried salt cod (with skin and bones)

1 medium onion, minced
1 medium green bell pepper, minced
2 medium tomatoes, seeded, finely chopped
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon finely grated lime peel
½ teaspoon minced seeded Scotch bonnet chile or habanero chile

1 hard-boiled egg, peeled, chopped
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, sliced

Here's how:

Rinse salt cod with cold water. Place fish in large bowl; cover with cold water. Cover bowl and refrigerate at least 24 hours, changing water once. Drain.

Place fish in large skillet, cover with cold water and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until fish flakes easily, about 50 minutes. Drain; cool slightly. Using fingers, shred fish, discarding skin and bones. Measure 1½ cups shredded fish and place in medium bowl (reserve any remaining fish for another use). Add onion, bell pepper, tomatoes, lime juice, lime peel, and chile to fish and stir to blend. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 4 hours ahead. Cover and chill.)

Mound salad in center of platter. Sprinkle with chopped egg. Surround with avocado slices and serve.
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