Thursday, March 21, 2013

Cod fillets & Greek Garlic Spread (Skorthalia)

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This is my spin on an old favorite recipe.  The original recipe is fried battered salt cured cod which is served with garlic spread.  It's usually served with french fries, beets drizzled with vinegar and olive oil, and a nice Greek salad, I know!!
I was craving this dish so badly I could literally taste it.  However, I'm trying to keep it heart healthy.  
So I thought to myself (scary isn't it), "self, how about steaming the cod fillets, still making the garlic spread (Skorthalia) and bringing it together over the Crostini"?  Well, I am here to tell you, we have a winner!

The star of the show is the garlic spread (Skorthalia).  The smooth garlicky spread is so delicious, heck you just want to take a spoon to it.  Never mind, I did!

The traditional way of making "Bakaliaro" or as my friendly cousins the Italians say it is; "Bakalao".  Either way, it's delicious.  You start off with a large piece of salt cured and dried cod.  You proceed to soak it, overnight in water, along with rinsing the cod a few times and re-soaking it in water again.  That is to re-hydrate it and also allow for most of the salt to be washed off.  
Then you dry it off and batter it using your favorite batter and deep fry it.  Outta this world good!!  Not the healthiest of meals to be honest, but it is delicious!  Add in the traditional sides of beets and some french fries?  Well, you will be fighting even the fish haters away, trust me!
Not a beet lover?  You will be!  My two  younger ones always tell me they don't like beets.  Okay, I will give them that, but I always mandate that if I make a dish a different way that they try just one bite.  If they don't like it, they can leave it be, if they like it, they can have more.  I served the beets (canned, rinsed and patted dry, drizzled lightly with olive oil) on a plate next to the Skorthalia.  I then did to them what my daddy did to me.  I forked up a slice of beet, added some Skorthalia to it and said; "here you go".  All I have to say is we went thru 2 cans of beets tonight!!  *total grin face*

Now I gotta tell you, this version is not only 10x healthier, you really don't miss the frying.  

So are we ready for a delicious and very simple recipe?  Here we go;

Yield: 4 Servings of fish
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 6-8 minutes

Garlic Spread:
4 medium potatoes (peeled and cubed)
4-5 medium garlic cloves
2 tbsp white vinegar
3/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

-Add your potatoes along with enough water to cover potatoes by an inch.  Add a pinch of salt and boil potatoes till soft like you are making mashed potatoes.

-Drain potatoes and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.  *eat one cube of potato, I mean you need nourishment and all*.  Once cooled and drained, add the potato cubes into a food processor along with the remaining ingredients.

-Process till smooth.  Remove, taste for seasonings, and place in a pretty plate and set in refrigerator to chill.  Will keep in fridge for approximately 2 weeks.  You can use it as spreads, dips, wraps and sandwiches, toss with pasta and cheese, or just eat it right off the spoon.  What?
Did I mention how heart healthy this spread is?  I didn't?  Well see, now you can have 2 spoonfuls!

-Do you want to dip a piece of Crostini in?  Beat ya to it!

I know, dunk ready!

Fish & Crostini:
6-8 slices Italian bread
4 boneless cod fillets
4 tbsp olive oil
1/2 lemon or 4 tsp lemon juice
*optional* 3-4 slices beets

-Preheat oven to 400F.

-Baste your bread slices lightly with the olive oil on both sides and place in oven for 10-13 minutes.  Flip the bread slices over halfway and let become golden on the other side.

-As bread is becoming crisp.  In a steamer basket, steam your cod fillets for approximately 7-9 minutes till fish has an all over white color and is flaky.  Let rest.

-When bread is toasted we are ready to assemble.

-Spread a good tablespoonful of garlic spread onto the Crostini. 

- Lay your cod fillet over spread and Crostini and top with a little more garlic spread.

-Just for color and because the beets coupled with the garlic spread is outta this world good, slice one and add on top.  I promise you, it will be gone before you know it.

There you have it.  A healthy and absolutely delicious easy dinner.  Their individual open faced sandwiches, so they look fancy but you can see how easy they were to make...
Add in a nice salad and you have an amazing healthy dinner!  

Are you heading to your fishmonger yet?

Till next time!!

Dishin with Didi


  1. The crostini is such a good idea Didi, with this amazing traditional Greek Recipe!
    hugs and kisses my friend!

    1. Thank you Eri mou! Trying to keep it healthier. Have a good Monday! ♥

  2. Ok, I am going to rewrite this as it didn't take it the first time. this looks amazing Didi my friend and even I that I am not a gig fan of skorthalia I want to dive into it!

    1. Katerina mou thank you so much! ♥ Trying to keep it healthier! Have a good Monday!!

  3. Looks fab, Didi- and as you would say, "You had me at the Garlic Spread". That is one delicious sounding dip/spread, potatoes are now on my shopping list for the weekend. Can't wait to make it!

    1. So very simple my Linda dolly!! The taste? Outta this world!! I hope you enjoy it as much as my Greek friends and I do!! We know what this dip tastes like as you can see above, it's tradition served on March 25th, the day that Greece became Independant. Very much like our July 4th!! Also my mommy's, daughter and nieces name day!!

      I hope you enjoy!!

    2. Bought the potatoes today, will be making the dip tomorrow. Ready for Greek Independence day, can't wait to taste!

    3. You are just too sweet my friend!!