A recipe by Orly Vega, Rick Ostry, and Charlie Miller
Summer is here and, at least to us, that always means finding ways to simplify for the slow season and for our own sanity. It’s just too hot to be rolling out 3 or 4-hour stews! What we’ve got here today is a very simple, refreshing, albeit hot, recipe that, with a little prep work, you can bust out on the fly as an appetizer or side.
Serves: 4-6 Preparation Time: 1-hour
As we do anytime that we use salted cod, start off by soaking your cod in a pot of water and bringing it to a boil. After 5 minutes boiling rinse the cod and repeat the process with fresh water one or two more times, or until the water stops becoming cloudy with salt. Rinse your cod and, once cool, shred it up into bite-sized flakes with your hands or a fork. Set aside.
To prepare the dressing, with a mortal and pestle or in a food processor puree your garlic and salt together until it forms a thick oily paste. In a bowl or in the same food processor whisk or blend in the egg yolk, honey, sherry vinegar, and mustard. While that blends, slowly introduce your olive oil followed by 1/2 cup of vegetable oil. After about 30 seconds, you should have a nice, glossy mix between a dressing and a mayo. Season your dressing to taste with salt, black pepper, and set in the refrigerator until we’re ready to use it again.
The final, and simplest piece of our dish is the Brussels Sprouts themselves. To prepare them for cooking simply slice your sprouts lengthwise and, with a paring knife, cut out as much of the meaty stem as possible. The whole 2 lbs should take you 5 minutes once you get the rhythm of it.
In a deep-fryer or a medium sized pot bring your vegetable oil to between 350 – 375 degrees. Batch fry your sprouts for about 2.5 minutes or until the heart of the sprout starts to turn golden. The outside of the sprouts will not only brown sooner but will also shed loose leaves into the oil. Don’t instantly worry about over-cooking when you see this. Not only are these leaves very resilient, but also deliciously crunchy when fried. The mix of over-fried loose leaves and just golden inner leaves is gonna create a lovely contrast in your mouth. Once the majority of your sprouts are golden but you still see a bit of green poking through the leaf, that’s when you pull them and let them strain for a minute.
Now you’re ready to plate your dish! Simply fold your shredded cod into the dressing and swirl that around until all the fish is sticky. You don’t want to combine these two too far ahead of time as the fish will lose a bit of its firm texture. Now toss in your sprouts and with a wooden spoon gently roll them into the dressing until they are all evenly coated and das it!
I recommend placing the entire batch into a nice centerpiece bowl and serving it as a warm side salad with some fresh black pepper and lemon wedges. Also, if you’ve got vegetarians or vegans in the house, just don’t combine the 3 parts of the dish before they come to the table and you’ve got something for everyone. This is becoming a quick favorite at Congreso Cubano and we hope you enjoy it as much as we do!