Haitian breakfast of salt-preserved cod simmered in a spicy tomato-based sauce served with plantain.
1 pound saltfish (preserved codfish/bacalao)
3 tablespoons neutral oil
1 medium yellow onion, sliced into ⅛ inch rings
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 sprigs thyme
⅓ cup tomato paste
3 tablespoons Haitian Epis
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 scotch bonnet or habanero
small handful parsley, leaves and stems roughly chopped, plus additional to garnish
small handful cilantro, leaves and stems roughly chopped
salt to taste
2 semi-sweet plantains (greenish-yellow in color), cut in half widthwise
4 hard-boiled eggs, to serve
- Rinse the saltfish and soak in a large bowl for 20 hours in cool water, changing the water every few hours to remove excess salt. When the fish feels tender and rehydrated, drain water and give it a final rinse. Taste the fish, it may still have a bit of salt but it should not be overwhelming.
- Shred the fish into bite-sized pieces using a fork or your hands, set aside.
- Cut the plantains in half then score the skin lengthwise. Add them to a medium saucepan filled with water. Boil on medium heat for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Remove the skin before serving.
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan set over med-high heat.
- Add the onions and saute until translucent, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add garlic, thyme, and tomato paste. Stir for 1 minute, you want the tomato paste to cook a bit to deepen the flavor.
- Stir in the epis and dry spices, stirring constantly to prevent spices from sticking and burning in the pan.
- Pour in 2 cups of water, being sure to scrape the bottom of the pan to create your sauce.
- Add scotch bonnet, shredded fish, fresh herbs, stir.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and let simmer for 10 minutes.
- Taste for salt and add it if necessary. Serve with plantains and eggs.