Codfish in Cream Sauce

Para versão Portuguesa clique aqui: “Bacalhau com Natas”

4 codfish fillets, about 630g after removing bones and skin
1300g potatoes, peeled
2 onions, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 bay leaf
50g/ ¼ cup olive oil
Salt to taste
600g/2 ½ cups “Bechamel Sauce” (click for recipe or check blog archive). Double recipe with changes mentioned below
400ml heavy cream
2 tbsp lemon juice (about half a lemon)
1 tbsp mustard
Breadcrumbs for topping

Cut the potatoes into small cubes. Fry in hot oil taking care not to let them brown, just cooked through. Drain on paper towels, season with salt and set aside. Place codfish in a pan with cold water and place on high heat. When it begins to boil, reduce heat to low and let cook for 5 minutes. Remove from water (do not discard) and when cool enough to handle, remove skin and bones and break flesh into small pieces. Set aside. Make the Bechamel Sauce by doubling the recipe. Replace 1 cup milk with 1 cup liquid where codfish was cooked and add heavy cream, lemon juice and mustard. (The doubled recipe would take 2 cups milk, here it will take 1 cup milk and 1 cup liquid where codfish was cooked). Set aside. Pre-heat oven to 200ºC. Fry the onion, garlic and bay leaf in the olive oil until onion is tender. Add the codfish and stir, letting it cook for 5 minutes. Add the fried potatoes and mix well. Add in approximately ⅔ of the sauce to the codfish mixture and stir.

Place mixture into an oven-proof dish lined with butter, spread remaining bechamel on top and sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Place in the oven for about 30 minutes until golden. Serve with a fresh green salad.

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