- 500 gr cod fish (desalted)
- 250-300 ml olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 chilli peppers
- Chopped parsley
First, we dry the cod with a piece of paper towel, thenportion it as 5x5cm. squares.
Chop 2 cloves of garlic like flaked almonds. Put 250 ml olive oil into a pan and those chopped garlics. Fry the garlics until they become chips with the color of golden. Take the garlics out of the sauce-pan. Meanwhile keep the chilli in warm water for 15 minutes, then chop it as fine rings. Put the chilli rings into the sauce-pan with olive oil in which we cooked the garlic chips. Leave the chilli rings in that oil for about 30 seconds, then take them out.
Put the slices of cod fish into the olive oil, confit the fish (cook slowly so that the fish leaves its collagen into the oil) While you are confiting, shake the pan gently to help the transfer of collagen to the oil. Remove the fish when both sides cooked. Pour most of the oil into a bowl leaving the layer of gelatin and some oil in the pan. Add a tablespoon of water into the pan and stir the oil and water with the back of a strainer as it is shown in the video below. Then add the olive oil from the bowl by slowly pouring and stirring at the same time to emulsify. When you get a texture a little bit more liquid than the mayonnaise, the pilpil is ready.
Add the cod into pilpil, reheat a bit, serve it after garnishing with garlic ships, chillia and chopped parsley
Enjoy your meal /Buen provecho!
- It is better to use an Inox pan rather than Teflon as it will be strached by the strainer. (I had to use Teflon but better you do what I advice rather than doing what I did)
- As Pilpil is an emulsion*, it is crucial to have the right degree of heat and right amount of oil. (For instance the heat should not be over 60 Celcius degrees and the oil should be added very slowly)
- Be careful about not overcooking the cod. If so, it will be nothing but a fish-puree.
*Emulsion: An emulsion is a homogeneous mixture of two non-miscible liquids. In order to mix water and oil, the action of “tenso-active” (surfactant) molecules is necessary to obtain a mayonnaise, for example. The tenso-actives wrap around the oil molecules and disperse these droplets wrapped in the water. In the case of mayonnaise, the lecithin of egg acts as tenso active to wrap oil and water.
For an emulsion, it is needed the dispersion of oil-in-water droplets. The more oil droplets are added to the emulsion, the smaller the space between them, this is what gives the sauce its viscosity and thickness. The more water, the more space we will have between the oil droplets and, therefore, the emulsion will acquire a more fluid consistency.
About Basque Country (Pais Vasco):
Basque Country is one of the 17 autonomous communities of Spain. The major cities of the region are Bilbao, San Sebastian and Vitoria-Gasteiz. The language of Basque Country (Basque) is one of the official languages of Spain together with Catalan, Valenciano, Gallego and Castellano. Basque Country in general, San Sebastian in particular is a popular destination for the tourism of gastronomy. Pinxos (Basque Tapas) are the main characteristique of the Basque culinary culture. Furthermore, the region has a lot of highly elaborated recipes of fish and seafood. Bacalao pil pil is one of those delicious dishes.
Whenever I travel o Basque country I am mesmerized by the beauty of nature and the richness of gastronomic culture. (Also I put on at least 1-2 kilos of weight) The region resembles me the Blacksea Region in Turkey in terms of its climate, flora and regional music. I have added some of my favorite shots from Basque country and a sample of Basque music.
I hope you will enjoy them.