Thursday, 15 September 2011

Green Beans and Hard-Tack Cod Fish Balls

Mediterranean appetizers in the Gaspé?  When your mom asks you to clear out some leftover cod and your father is prancing about with a sack of Purity hard-tack that he hauled all the way back from Newfoundland, what's a boy to do?

Best made with salt-cod, these delicious fritters are served up as "Bolas" in Spain, Bolinhos in the Portugese world, and Palle di Bacalao in Italy. They're done a hundred different ways in the old country.  I like to serve these up Italian-style, but with local ingredients (i.e. I had no parsley, so I tossed in some celery leaves, oh yeah, and the bacon, good old delicious bacon).

Bolas and Beans
Photo: Maria Giuliani

Green Beans

1 lb green beans, halved
1/2 onion
1/2 tomato
3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
sea salt

Oil and salt your pan and get it heated to where the salt is sizzling. Finely chop your onions and fry them up on a high-heat in a covered pan.  Toss in the tomato and the garlic and cook off until the liquid has evaporated.  Drop in the halved green beans until they're tender, but not soft.

Cod Fish Balls


4 green onions, finely chopped
2 medium waxy potatoes, baked, cooled, chopped
1 bulb roasted garlic, mashed
1 egg
1 lb cod
2 shallots, finely sliced
2 tsps whole grain mustard
2 pieces bacon, chopped
1/4 c celery leaves, finely chopped
1/3 cup parmesan


3 hard-tack biscuits, crushed
2 eggs
2 cups flour

Oil for frying

This is one easy: chop and toss.  

Roll the balls up.  The yield should be around 24 small balls.

Dip the balls in flour, then in egg, then in the crushed hard-tack.  Salt them and serve them in a sauce.  I served them in a tomato sauce, but they will happily marry with garlic mayonnaise, dill sour cream, or any other dipping sauce.  Be creative, have fun.

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