Tinned fish is naff, right? In my cupboard it certainly used to consist only of tins of tuna, anchovies, or the dreaded pilchards in tomato sauce. Not so anymore. Taking the lead from Portugal, I found these lovely tins of bacalao, sardines, smoked oysters, and octopus. Not only is the packaging to die for, the contents makes me go wobbly at the knees and with very little effort can be whipped up into something delectable.
While buying these on Columbia Road, we were told by the Portuguese shopkeeper to simply: add a little chopped onion, garlic and parsley (the parsley was sadly the one thing we forgot to buy); mix through your bulking agent of choice (chickpeas, tomatoes or potatoes); season appropriately (bearing in mind that some may be saltier than others); and finally, and most definitely, add a splash of vinegar (unspecified but we figured this is to provide an acidic kick). Sounds simple, right?
Turns out it really is that simple. We took one can of the bacalao, added half a chopped banana shallot, and a grated clove of garlic. The oil from the fish was stirred through alongside a can of chickpeas, a slug of sherry vinegar and a pinch of paprika to finish. Glorious and finished in under five minutes.