Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

May 29, 2017

© Laura Edwards

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Tortilla de bacalao / cod (pintxo)

Small plates from the region that straddles France and Spain

Tortilla de Bacalao is a must-have dish when you are in a sidreria (cider house). Caramelizing the onions brings more sweetness to the tortilla and the bacalao (cod) is not cooked. When you caramelize the onions, make plenty as you can keep them in the fridge for at least a week. They make a great addition to any sandwich or just on toast with some goat’s cheese. Heaven.


14 oz. (400 g) salt cod
½ c. (125 ml) olive oil
3 large white onions, finely sliced
handful of thyme, leaves stripped
6 free-range eggs
freshly ground black pepper
handful of finely chopped flat-leaf parsley


Soak the salt cod in cold water, skin side up, for 24 hours, changing the water a couple of times.

Heat the oil in a large pan and gently fry the onions for a few minutes. Cover with a lid and cook over a low heat for 25 minutes until really soft. Remove the lid, add the thyme and cook for a further 20 to 25 minutes until really caramelized and sticky. Scoop out with a slotted spoon, keeping some of the oil, and cool.

Remove the skin from the cod and flake into large pieces. Beat the eggs with plenty of black pepper and gently fold in the onion, cod and parsley.

In a large (23 cm/9 in) non-stick pan, heat 2 to 3 tablespoons (30 to 45 ml) of the reserved oil and pour in the egg mixture. Swirl the pan over a high heat until the mixture starts to set around the edges, then reduce the heat and cook for 4 to 5 minutes until it just starts to set, so that the bottom and sides are golden, but it is still quite loose in the middle.

Cover the pan with a flat lid or board, turn the tortilla carefully onto it, then put the pan back on a low heat. Return the tortilla to the pan, cooked side up, and use a spatula to tuck the edges of the tortilla under to give its characteristic curved look. Cook for a couple of minutes, then turn onto a board and serve. It should still be lovely and juicy when you cut into it. Serves 4 to 6.

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