Thursday, December 20, 2012

Sretan Božić - Christmas Eve Bakalar Event (MY LAST WEEK 52)

Where else but Hvar would you find a festival devoted to a seafood dish that was outlawed in our house years ago by my Dad ("I don't want that &%$# smell stinking up the new drapes!  Cook that %$# outside for God's sake....why do you think your Deda built a kitchen in the tank house!  Even HE knew it smelled bad.....and he was a fisherman!").

Bakalar Festival

Regardless of my Dad and his "decorating tips", Mom LOVES this stuff.  Maybe its the idea of beating up a fish with a wooden mallet (the thing to do after shopping for several hours then enduring midnight mass with sugar-hazed daughters)?  

Teta Bunny (aka my Aunt Francis)  gave Mom a recipe for Mock Bakalar.  It's actually pretty good (but, then again, it has potatoes and we all know how I LOVE my potatoes)

  • 1 large russet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt (Croatian, where else)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (6-ounce) can oil-packed tuna, drained and flaked (I prefer home packed Tuna from Alex and Nellie!!)
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup cream (optional)
  • 3/4 cup Bari extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Additional Bari extra-virgin olive oil for garnish (optional)
  • 2 tbsp chopped KMK Farms parsley
Cover the potatoes with water and cook in a small saucepan until tender. Drain and place in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add the salt, pepper, flaked tuna, garlic, cream and 1/4 cup of the olive oil.
Using a hand-held mixer, beat the tuna/potato/oil combination briefly - until the tuna and potato are mixed together and they are just beginning to break up. The combination should be soft and moist. If it appears to be too dry, add more cream in small increments. With the beaters running, add the remaining olive oil in a steady, slow stream. Continue to beat until the mixture is light and fluffy. Taste and adjust the seasonings. If desired, drizzle with additional olive oil, sprinkle with parsley and serve warm or at room temperature.

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