xmlns:fb='http://www.facebook.com/2008/fbml' Trinidadian Tomatoes and Saltfish

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Trinidadian Tomatoes and Saltfish

This dish of tomatoes cooked together with salted fish, garlic, thyme and onions is so good, there will be no left overs for the next day! Served with Trinidadian Fried Bake, which I am posting next, is a definite comfort food to satisfy any appetite or taste buds. A definite favorite among Trinidadians.

I usually make this dish on a Sunday morning but afer spending my entire Sunday perfecting the fried bake recipe, I made the tomatoes and saltfish on Monday night instead. Everyone looked confused. No one complained. We were fighting for the last piece of fried bake to scoop up the remaining tomatoes and saltfish with.

Tomatoes and saltfish can also be served over boiled ground provisions, flour or corn dumplings, with rice, roti or pita bread. Are you hungry yet?

8 ozs boneless, skinless salted fish (wild Alaskan Cod or Pollock)
2 large ripe tomatoes, chopped, approx 1 pound
2-3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
1 large onion, chopped
1 sprig thyme
1 pimento(not hot) or habanero(very hot), chopped
3 tbsp olive oil

Soak salted fish in cold water for 5 minutes to soften. Remove from water, drain and cut with knife or shred into small bite size pieces. Rinse and squeeze to remove excess salt. Repeat as necessary. The end product should still be salty but not too salty.

Heat oil in a heavy skillet. Add salted fish and cook for about 5 mins. Add onions and garlic, cook for 3 minutes more, then add tomatoes, pepper(habanero or pimento), if using, and the sprig of thyme. Cook an additional 10-15 minutes until tomatoes are soft and most of the liquid has evaporated leaving a thick consistency. Remove sprig of thyme and serve hot with fried bake.

Variation:-If you prefer more salted fish to tomatoes in this dish, just reduce the amount of tomatoes and call it saltfish and tomatoes (vs. tomatoes and saltfish). :-) For added flavor, 1 scallion (chopped) can also be added along with the thyme and tomatoes.

The players
(if serving with fried bake, knead the flour and let rest before continuing)
Rinse and soak salted fish in water for several minutes to soften
Cut or shred into small pieces. Don't worry, this recipe gets easier...
Rinse and squeeze out water. Repeat as necessary.
As I said above the saltfish should be salty but not too salty. I also said that it gets easier
......after this step....I promise
Chop tomatoes and onion, measure your olive oil, wash sprig of thyme, chop or grate garlic, squeeze to remove all excess water from the salted fish.
( and ignore mess in the kitchen)
Heat oil in skillet, when hot but not smoking, add salted fish and saute (cook up) for a few minutes....
Add onions and garlic, mix well and let cook for about 3 minutes...should be kinda dry (if it has too much liquid at this point, you left too much water in the salt fish!!!)
.when and if time permits, I fry the salted fish until brown and crisp in this step-using a little more oil...
Add tomatoes and thyme (and chopped scallion if using)
Stir it up!!(and start palancing aka dancing)
The tomatoes will release it's juices...nice..very nice..(while it is cooking, continue making the bake...if you can't multitask, eat a few stalks of celery cause it will be a while before dinner is served)
When most of the liquid has evaporated, leaving a thick consistency you can start eating..I could have let more liquid evaporate below but everyone was so hungry, so I had to get it off the stove asap to take the final pictures before serving....(Did I hear you say that you can't start eating because you didn't finish making the bake yet? What are you waiting for?)
Luckily for me, my hubbie made the bake.....I gave him the recipe and he (and the kids) figured it out while I made the tomatoes and saltfish(and took lots of pics)...look below, I think they did a great job....[look for my recipe for fried bake on this site)...


denyse said...

Salt fish and tomatoes is one of my favorite comfort dishes! I love mine with my scotch bonnet peppers though, great recipe! :)

Cooking with Ria said...

Thanks for stopping by Denyse! How could I have forgotten scotch bonnet peppers!! Yummm...

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