My wife goes ballistic if I ever mention frying anything at home. She hates the smell and the greasy legacy frying leaves on curtains, walls, and clothing. There are a few exceptions. Fried zucchini flowers in the Summer. French fries once or twice a year (grudgingly) if I whine enough. And salt cod in tempura batter (because she loves it so much). All in all we might fry 5-6 times a year…not too unhealthful I think.

Tonight was fried salt-cod night. I had soaked the thick pieces for five days to really get the saltiness out. Real cod has a very special texture, quite different from the various suspect species sold as cod at the grocery store and even at the fish-monger. Real cod is very firm, with a real meaty texture that makes post-meal flossing absolutely de rigeur.

There are many ways to prepare it: Mr. Italo loves it Italian style in tomato sauce with onions and garlic, baked in the oven. I like it Portuguese style, brushed generously with olive oil and grilled on the BBQ. My wife likes it fried in tempura batter. They’re all great. If you’re lucky enough to find boards of dried salt cod at the fish store, don’t be shy. Soak them for 3-5 days in a deep pot with lots of water, changing the water daily. When ready, just dry the fillets, cut them to the desired size, and prepare them to your favorite recipe. Google “salt cod recipes” and you’ll find dozens. Served with real French fries, this is the real-deal fish and chips.