Good Friday Parpuchas – Salt Cod Fritters

Today, even though we are in England, we kept up a tradition from Big Man’s family in Andalucia and made Parpuchas. Light, fluffy fritters of salt cod, parsley and garlic. Traditionally served (as we did) with a drizzle or a dunk of Miel de Caña (Molasses). It sounds odd but I promise you, the combination of sweet and salty really does work. If you don’t have access to salt cod (which you’ll have to desalt) this works well with any other firm raw fish.

Parpuchas 007

I will post the recipe below, but if you’d like to read the original post from a couple of years back and to see some of the traditions of Holy Week in Spain, do check out the original.

Ingredients

  • 200g (desalted) salt cod, shredded into small flakes
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 cup of flour (approx)
  • 2 large tablespoons of finely chopped parsley
  • 1 finely chopped or crushed clove of garlic
  • Salt to taste if you are not using salt cod
  • Oil for deep frying

Add the milk, bicarbonate, parsley, garlic and fish to the beaten eggs and then gradually add the flour until you have a thick batter.  It needs to be about the texture of thick lumpy custard (not that any of you, I am sure, have ever made lumpy custard!).

Heat the oil until a cube of stale bread turns brown quickly when dropped in and then drop spoonfuls of batter into the oil. I used a tablespoon and it gave me rather large parpuchas – I´d recommend using about half a tablespoon full as they will puff up slightly. When they are brown on the bottom (and they will float to the top), flip them over and cook on the other side. They will not be in the oil for long.

Remove with a slotted spoon, drain and sit them on kitchen paper for a few moments and serve hot, drizzled with Miel de Caña (to be typical) but also good with  lemon, alioli or tartare sauce. If you make too many, they are still very tasty cold as they retain their texture.

All that remains for me to say before we move into the rest of the Easter weekend is a very Happy and Peaceful Easter, or Happy Passover if that is what you celebrate, or a Happy Few Days with your loved ones. Watch out for those chocolate bunnies…..

Pimientos de Padrón – A Spicy Little Snack

Eat them with your fingers!
Eat them with your fingers!


Pimientos de Padrón are a popular tapas, especially when they´re in season during the summer.  They are little green peppers that come from a town in Galicia (northern Spain) called Padrón.  So, their name translated means “peppers from Padrón”.  A little saying about them is that “algunos pican, otros no” which means “some are hot, some are not”. To be honest, as a dedicated chili eater, they´re mostly not that spicy…apart from some we grew last year which seemed to want to be like all the other chilis in the vegetable garden and nearly blew my head off!

Ready for frying

If you do manage to find them, all you do is deep fry them in very hot oil.  When the skin starts to blister and turn black (this will take long moments rather than long minutes), drain them and sprinkle heavily with coarse salt.

Frying tonight!

Eat with a cold beer to wash down the spicy, salty tastes or a delicious clara (that´s a shandy to you and me).

Just what you need...

And whilst you´ve got that oil hot, how about quickly deep frying some sage leaves and sprinkling them with salt too.

Scarily Addictive Sage

They can become really addictive, and as it´s a herb they´ve got to be better for you than crisps…haven´t they?!