1 pound boneless, skinless salted codfish, soaked in cold water, changing it several times over 24 hours
Next Day: For the filling:
1- 1/2 cups thick Béchamel Sauce (see recipe below)
1 pound boiling potatoes, peeled and boiled until very tender
½ cup milk
8 large egg yolks
8 large egg whites
1/4 cup olive oil
½ cup finely chopped onion
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ cup chopped red or green sweet pepper
½ cup finely chopped parsley, divided
Sea salt to taste as needed
One 11×18 sheet pan, lined with a sheet of generously buttered parchment paper
½ -3/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
- Preheat the oven to 400 ° F. Bring a medium pot of water to the boil then reduce heat to simmer. Drain the fish from the soaking water, rinse and add the fish, and simmer for 15 minutes, just until the fish starts to flake. Remove with slotted spoon to a bowl. When cool enough to handle, hand shred into small pieces. Set aside. Do not use the food processor.
- Make the béchamel sauce and reserve.
- Mash the potatoes using the milk. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Lightly beat the egg yolks and mix into the mashed potatoes. Whip the egg whites until medium stiff peaks form. Fold into the potato mix. Gently spoon the mix onto the buttered parchment lined sheet pan and carefully spread evenly without deflating. Don’t spread too thin or the potato “cake” will split when rolling. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Don’t over bake.
- Meanwhile, using a medium skillet, ¼ cup olive oil until hot but not smoking. Toss in the onions, garlic and chopped sweet pepper and salt and pepper to taste. Sauté until the onions take on a little color, about 3-4 minutes. Mix in the reserved fish, then incorporate the béchamel sauce and heat through until hot.
- Place a kitchen towel or sheet of parchment paper on your workspace. Spread the bread crumbs even over an area about the size of the sheet pan. When the potato “cake” is done, remove the sheet pan from the oven, loosen the side with a knife if needed, and immediately invert the pan onto the breadcrumbs. Spread the hot codfish filling over and quickly roll up the torta and carefully transfer to a serving plate. Sprinkle remaining chopped parsley over. Serve while hot or warm.
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
1 ½ cups whole milk
½ small onion, peeled, left whole
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 bay leaf
Sea Salt to taste
Ground white pepper
- Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Whisk in the flour, making a roux. When it starts to foam and turn pale yellow, it should fall from the whisk like wet sand, about 2 minutes.
- Gradually, while whisking, add the cold milk in a slow stream to avoid lumps. Add the bay leaf and nutmeg and onion. Stirring constantly to avoid sticking, cook over medium- medium-low heat for about 20 minutes or until it is almost thick like oatmeal. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Do not allow to boil. Remove onion and bay leaf. Use sauce as needed.