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Brazilian Codfish Balls (Bolinho de Bacalhau)

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Description

A classic taste of Brazil, these savory, delicate, and just plain amazing fried codfish balls make a great appetizer or party finger food.

Ingredients

  • 2  Medium Baking Potatoes
  • 1 pound Salt Cod, Soaked
  • 1 cup Diced Onion
  • 2 cloves (Large) Garlic, Minced
  • 1 teaspoon Olive Oil
  • 2  Large Eggs, Separated
  • 4 cups To 6 Cups Canola Or Vegetable Oil, For Frying
  • ¼ teaspoons Cayenne Pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons Chopped Parsley
  • 3 Tablespoons Chopped Cilantro
  • 1 Tablespoon Flour, Or 2 Tablespoons As Needed For Binding
  • Salt To Taste
  • 1 cup Bread Crumbs

Preparation

Cut potatoes into eighths and boil for about 30 minutes until completely tender.

At the same time, boil soaked cod for about 15 minutes until nice and tender. Place in a colander to drain.

While cooking potatoes and fish, lightly sauté onion and garlic in 1 teaspoon olive oil just until fragrant and very lightly softened. Remove from heat and set aside.

When potato sections have cooled enough to touch, peel skins and process pieces into a large bowl through a potato ricer or a food mill with a ricer attachment.

Separate the eggs. Heat oil for frying.

Add shredded fish, cayenne, egg yolks, parsley, cilantro, flour, and sautéd onions and garlic to the riced potatoes. Stir everything to mix well. Pinch off a little section and microwave it for about 20 seconds or so on high to taste for seasoning. Add salt as needed.

Whip egg whites into stiff peaks and fold them gently into the mixture, again being sure to mix everything thoroughly.

Shape the dough into balls about 2 inches in diameter and roll the shaped balls in bread crumbs. Transfer to a sheet pan lightly dusted with bread crumbs to prevent the balls from sticking.

Deep fry the codfish balls in enough oil to cover, in batches of 3 or 4, about 4–5 minutes per batch or until golden brown. Transfer the fried codfish balls to a sheet pan covered with paper towels to drain.

Serve warm, either plain, with hot sauce, or with a drizzle of fresh lime juice.

Notes:
1. Salt cod can be found in many Asian and other specialty food stores.
2. To soak the salt cod, cover it in water and place in the refrigerator for 24–36 hours in advance of making the codfish balls. Change the water 4 to 6 times in that time frame.

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