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March 23, 2018
Greek Independence Day – 25th of March with the best Fish & Chips!

The closer the 25th of March gets, the closer you get to the moment when you will be able to enjoy your favorite Greek traditional fried codfish along with homemade potato-garlic mash, otherwise known as “Bakaliaro – Skordalia”! You see, this particular pair of food is directly connected with this great National Holiday! How well do you know this fish that has the… leading role in this recipe and the story behind the reason it became the traditional dish for this day of Independence along with the potato-garlic mash? What do you say we get to learn a little bit more about all of this? For those of you who don’t know…

The official Latin name of codfish is “Merluccius merluccius”, meaning Merluccius the genuine! You can find it northeast of the Atlantic, in the Mediterranean and in the Black Sea. Codfish is a source of pure protein with very little fat and exceptionally few calories (something which, of course, depends on how you cook it). It is rich in vitamins and antioxidants, a fact which means that it does not only help your heart work better but it also detoxifies your body. Its tasty, white meat with very few bones puts it on everyone’s favorite list! Best of all is that it offers you countless ways to cook it. Roasted with potatoes? Boiled? Battered and fried? In this Diary, we are going to focus on the last version ;-) Before we move on to all of the details, let’s take a look at why this particular dish is the traditional dish on this specific day. According to the church, during Lent, it is allowed to eat fish only twice: on the 25th of March which is the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary and on Palm Sunday. Codfish was a great choice, even though it is not a Greek fish. You see, it was easy for it to be packed in salt and stored for a long period of time (even in houses that didn’t have a refrigerator) and could this way be sent to the furthest villages -  a fact which also gave it the name of “mountain fish”. But it needed something on the side to serve it with. It needed a traditional Greek side dish that would add even more flavor and also be suitable in taste. The potato-garlic mash was the perfect choice and from then on the two were inseparable!

Know that you know why and how this came to be… let’s move a little closer to the frying pan! This will be the most delicious, crunchy and enjoyable codfish you’ve ever made! Who came up with the recipe? Me! I’d like to share it with you along with all of its variations, here! Here we go…

1st step: Desalt the codfish! Hereyou will find all you need to know about desalting a salted codfish in the right way.

And, in order to make sure that your codfish has been desalted correctly, you can boil a small piece in a little bit of water. If it is still salty, simply repeat the desalting process for a few more hours. When it is ready, then choose one of the following recipes and enjoy it along with the super delicious potato-garlic mash…. “Skordalia”!

Frying batter

Homemade frying batter by Greek chef Akis Petretzikis

Traditional Fish & ChipsTraditional Fish & Chips by Greek chef Akis Petretzikis

Speedy Fish and chips

Speedy Fish & chips by Greek chef Akis Petretzikis

Codfish balls

Codfish balls by Greek chef Akis Petretzikis

Skordalia - Potato and Garlic Mash

Skordalia - Potato and Garlic Mash by Greek chef Akis Petretzikis

Homemade Garlic Dip with Bread - Skordalia

Homemade Garlic Dip with Bread - Skordalia by Greek chef Akis Petretzikis

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