- 1 pound dried salt cod, cut into 4-inch pieces
- 3 medium baking potatoes, like russets, peeled and cubed
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 tablespoon Essence, plus 1 teaspoon
- 1 cup dry bread crumbs
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- Lay the salt cod flat in a non-reactive pan or dish. Add enough water to cover the fish by 1-inch. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 6 hours refrigerated. Drain and rinse the fish under cold running water. Place the fish on a flat work surface covered with paper towels, and press each piece firmly with your hands. Pat dry with fresh paper towels and return to the soaking pan. Repeat the soaking and rinsing process 3 more times, for a total of 4 times in all. Place the rinsed salt cod in an airtight container until ready to use, and refrigerate for up to 1 week.
- Place the soaked cod in a saucepan, add enough cold water to cover and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Lower the heat slightly and barely simmer until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain, reserving 2 tablespoons of the cooking liquid. Transfer to a bowl and flake with a fork, removing any bones or skin. Finely chop and reserve.
- Meanwhile, boil the potatoes in salted water to cover by 1-inch until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and transfer to a bowl and mash. Add the chopped fish, turmeric, chili powder, cayenne, lime juice, and the 2 tablespoons reserved cooking liquid.
- In a medium bowl, combine the egg, milk, and 1 teaspoon of the Essence. In a second bowl, season the bread crumbs with the remaining 1 tablespoon of Essence. With slightly damp hands, shape the fish mixture into small balls (about 1-inch in diameter) for an appetizer portion or large balls (about 2-inches in diameter) for entree portions. One at a time, drop in the egg wash then the seasoned bread crumbs to coat evenly, shaking to remove any excess. Transfer to a baking sheet and refrigerate until completely cool.
- Fill a large pot or electric fryer halfway with vegetable oil and heat 360 degrees F. Add the fish balls in batches and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels. Serve hot with Sablada.
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