What to eat in Spain – Bacalao a la Vizcaina

Cod in a delicious Red Pepper Sauce – Bacalao a la Vizcaina

Bacalao recipe from Albert Bevia

Without a doubt, Spain on a Fork is my favourite Spanish recipe channel. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t watch. Spain on a Fork is presented by Albert Bevia, born in Valencia, raised in California but now, living back in Spain.

What I like about this Spanish food channel is its simplicity. The produce used is what I can get myself from Spanish supermarkets, such as Mercadona, Dia and so on. Also, the recipes are inexpensive.

On this blog for Nerja Beach Holidays, you will find that I will be posting my efforts at the recipes Albert posts on Youtube and his blog. I would also recommend watching his channel and reading his blog to familiarise yourself with everyday Spanish cuisine.

Andalucia has a varied cuisine that has many influences and ranges from 5-star dishes to basic peasant staples. From Cochinillo (Suckling Pig) to Sesos (Pig’s Brains), from Rabo de Toro (Oxtail Stew) to Criadillas (Bull’s Testicles).

You will also find videos and posts for some of the most famous and simple tapas recipes.

How to Make Bacalao a la Vizcaina or Cod in Pepper Sauce

Como Hacer Bacalao a la Vizcaina - Cod in Red Pepper sauce
Como Hacer Bacalao a la Vizcaina – Cod in Red Pepper sauce

I used cod pieces that I bought frozen from Mercadona Supermarket in Archidona, close to where I live. I defrosted the fish in the fridge overnight. Then, resting at room temperature, I made sure that the fish was patted dry with kitchen towel (stops spitting oil and makes a crust on the fish).

Coat the Bacalao (Cod) in plain flour and pat the excess flour off and rest on a piece of kitchen paper.

In a frying pan, add sufficient olive oil to cover the base and turn the heat to high. Once the oil is very hot, lower the fish into the pan, skin side down. Fry for about 3 minutes or, until you get a nice crust on the skin. Turn the fish over and do the same.

Making the Sauce

For this sauce, I used 1 whole diced onion, 3 cloves of garlic minced using a rallador (grater), half of a red bell pepper, a choppd tomatoe, four small Piquillo Peppers (they come prepared in a jar) and a teaspoon of  Spanish Sweet Paprika. (recipe on Alberts website)

In a seperate frying pan add olive oil and bring to a medium heat. Add onions and garlic and fry for a few minutes until the onion softens. Add the red bell pepper, piquillo peppers and chopped tomatoe and fry until softened. Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool down.

Once cooled, put into a bowl or other container and blitz with a hand-blender until you get a smooth sauce. Salt and pepper to taste. Return to the pan and reheat.

By this time, your fish will be ready to serve

Pour some of the pepper sauce onto the plate and cover the base with an even layer. Add the cod and an optional garnish. You are ready to enjoy one of the best fish dishes of Spain.

In my version, I have added a few prawns as a nod to a local dish which features prawns as well as Angulas (Baby Eels)

Please visit the Spain on a Fork Youtube site for more great dishes from Albert.



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