Piquillo Peppers Tapas (Pimientos Rellenos de Bacalao) Recipe

Pimientos rellenos de bacalao. Boca Dorada/Flickr CC 2.0
  • 25 hrs 5 mins
  • Prep: 24 hrs 20 mins,
  • Cook: 45 mins
  • Yield: 4 Servings as an Appetizer
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A superb "tapa" from the North of Spain, Pimientos Rellenos de Bacalao is very popular. Sweet and tasty roasted piquillo peppers are stuffed with a mixture of salt cod, white wine, onions and garlic, then dipped in egg and flour, and lightly fried and covered in a tomato sauce. It is worth the hour that it takes to prepare this "tapa"!

What You'll Need

  • Stuffing & Peppers:
  • 1 pound salt cod
  • 1 potato
  • 1 1/2 onions
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1-2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 6 ounces white wine
  • 1/2 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 4 ounces virgin olive oil
  • 15-20 piquillo peppers
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup flour (for coating peppers)
  • Sauce:
  • 12 ounces canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika (pimenton)
  • salt to taste

How to Make It

  1. Rinse salt cod under cold water to remove any caked salt from the outside.
  2. Cut cod into small pieces – about 1 to 1.5 inches.
  3. Place fish in a glass baking dish and cover with water.
  4. Place in refrigerator and soak for at least 24 hours, changing the water 2-3 times.
  5. Pour out water and place fish in a colander, rinsing the pieces of fish under the faucet.
  6. Allow to drain for 5 minutes, then pat dry with a paper towel and place on a plate.
  1. Peel and finely chop the onion. Heat a large, heavy bottom frying pan and add a few tablespoons of olive oil. When hot, add onion and sauté until translucent.
  2. Add codfish to frying pan and cook, stirring often. Fish will have absorbed water while soaking and will release it in the pan. Cook fish for about 15 minutes.
  3. Take the pan off the stove and use a fork to break fish into small flakes. Remove bones.
  4. Boil potato with skin until cooked. Run under cold water, and when it is cool enough to touch, peel. Cut potato into pieces and smash with a fork.
  5. Add wine, chopped garlic, potato, bay leaf, minced parsley, and nutmeg. Mix and cook on medium low until wine is reduced and the mixture is not watery.
  6. Remove from stove and allow to cool about 5-10 minutes. Remove bay leaf.
  7. While the fish mixture is cooling, prepare the tomato sauce.
  8. In a medium frying pan, sauté onion in a few teaspoons of olive oil. When onion is translucent, add chopped garlic and continue to sauté for 2-3 minutes, careful not to burn the garlic. Sprinkle with the paprika and add the crushed tomatoes.
  9. Cook on low to medium-low for about 10 minutes and then remove from the stove.
  10. Carefully spoon cod mixture into piquillo peppers and set on a plate. The peppers can tear easily, so use a small spoon to fill them gently.
  11. Pour approximately 1-inch olive oil into a large frying pan for frying and begin to heat on medium.
  12. Beat eggs in a small bowl for dipping. Spread out flour on a plate or in a bowl.
  13. When oil is hot enough, one-by-one, dip peppers into beaten egg, then cover in flour and fry until golden, turning once.
  14. Remove and drain on a paper towel.
  15. Arrange peppers on a platter and spoon tomato sauce over them and serve.
  16. If there is extra tomato sauce, serve on the side.