Bakaliaros Plaki – A Cod Casserole

Bakaliaros Plaki is a cod casserole that is traditionally served in Greece on March 25, alongside other cod dishes.

Another popular recipe is fried cod with skordalia, a creamy paste made out of garlic. But we will leave this for another time.

Salted cod* is normally used for this casserole but we find the time needed to remove the salt very inconvenient. So, we normally use either fresh cod that we get our fishmonger to fillet or frozen cod fillets.

In order to make things even simpler, in recent years we have adopted this recipe by much-loved chef Lefteris Lazarou. It’s not only delicious but you only need to use one casserole dish, so there is much less washing and messing about.

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The recipe calls for vegetable broth. Even though we’d love to say we are organised enough to keep homemade vegetable stock in our freezer, this is simply not the case. Instead, we either use half a stock cube or the water from steamed or boiled vegetables – if we happen to boil any in the hours before cooking this dish. If neither is available, we just add some plain water.

Bakaliaros Plaki for March 25th

The truth is we have absolutely no idea why this dish is served on this particular date. On March 25th Greece celebrates the beginning of its independence war. Religious Greeks also celebrate the Annunciation. But neither event seems to feature cod in any way.

In any case, even fasting for Lent makes allowances for cod on March 25th.

This is a super easy and delicious recipe!

Bakaliaros Plaki – A Cod Casserole

5 from 2 votes
Course: MainCuisine: GreekDifficulty: Easy
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

15

minutes
Cooking time

1

hour 

30

minutes
Total time

1

hour 

45

minutes

A delicious recipe often cooked on March 25th.

Ingredients

  • 1 kilo cod fillets (see above discussion re: salted cod etc)

  • 100 ml olive oil

  • 1 kilo potatoes, peeled and quartered (if the potatoes are big, halve each quarter as well)

  • 3 onions, sliced

  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped

  • 4 tomatoes, chopped or 400 grams canned chopped tomatoes

  • 100 grams celery, chopped

  • 250 ml white wine

  • 300 ml water or vegetable broth

  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped

  • 2 dried bay leaves

  • salt

  • pepper

Directions

  • If using salted cod, start soaking in water a day and a half before you start cooking
  • Pre-heat the ovet at 380F or 190C
  • Chop all your ingredients and add them all apart from the cod, parsley and bay leaves, in a baking/casserole dish.
  • Place the dish in the preheated oven and cook for 35-40 minutes
  • Remove from the oven. Add the cod to the baking dish, make sure its covered in liquid and add the parsley and bay leaves
  • Cover with some foil and return to the oven for another 40 minutes, until the potatoes are well cooked
  • Remove the foil around 5 minutes before you take the food out of the over
  • Let your dish cool a little bit and serve with green salad and some white wine!
  • Add some salt (say a teaspoon) and pepper and mix. Use very little or no salt at all if you are using salted cod

*If you do decide to use the traditional salted cod, you need to plan ahead to remove the salt. This is what you need to do: at least 30 hours before you start cooking, fill a large bowl with fresh water. Submerge your cod fillets. Make sure they are very generously covered with water. A few hours later use a colander to drain the fillets. Wash them under the tap and repeat the process again. You need to do this at least 5 times in the 30 hours before you use your cod.

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