Greeks worldwide celebrate the 25th of March as a double holiday- marking both a historical and religious occasion.
On this day, Greece commemorates the War of Independence against the Ottoman Empire, which led to the country’s liberation; and the Greek Orthodox Church celebrates the Annunciation of Theotokos, where Archangel Gabriel revealed to the Virgin Mary she would become the mother of Jesus Christ.
The country marks this double celebration with a special dish named “Bakaliaros Skordalia” which is codfish and mash potato with a garlic sauce.
It is a custom across the country on this day is to eat crispy, fried cod, which needs some preparation from the day ahead.
Happy Greek Independence Day!
For the cod
- 1/2 kilogram boneless, dry salted cod
- 1 x cup all-purpose flour
- pepper to taste
- oil for frying
- lemon and parsley to garnish (optional)
Method for Bakaliaro
- Cut the dry cod into pieces. Soak in cool water, and keep in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
- Remove cod from the water and dry on a paper towel.
- Season the flour with pepper and coat the cod pieces with the flour.
- Add oil to a frying pan and allow to heat. When the oil is hot place cod and fry over medium heat. Turn cod over a few times to cook evenly and until it’s golden brown. Roughly 17 minutes.
- Remove the cod from the frying pan and let drain on a paper towel-lined plate to soak up some of the excess oil.
For the skordalia
- 5 x potatoes
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 x garlic cloves
- 1/3 cup x red wine vinegar
- 1/3 x cup lemon juice
- 1 cup oil
Method for the Skordalia
- Peel the potatoes and cut them into cubes.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil, add a tablespoon of salt and when the water has boiled add the potatoes.
- Boil until they are soft, approximately 20 minutes.
- While the potatoes are boiling, prepare your garlic. Peel the garlic and grate.
- When the potatoes have boiled, drain and keep about a cup of stock.
- Allow potatoes to slightly cool.
- Place potatoes in a large bowl and mash.
- Combine the lemon juice, olive oil, vinegar, and grated garlic in a small mixing bowl and whisk until well combined.
- Pour the marinade over the mashed potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Mix until smooth. Pour potato stock into the mashed potatoes to thin the dip to your desired consistency. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
- Garnish with lemon wedges and parsley (optional).
Main image courtesy of Akis Petretzikis