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    Chickpeas and cod in Bilbaína sauce

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    Chickpeas and cod in Bilbaína sauce

    By Nieves Barragán Mohacho

    It’s very common to make a bean or chickpea stew every week in Spain; I always have dried pulses in the cupboard at home. While they’re the ultimate comfort food, the addition of cod and a rich tomato and sherry sauce here transforms them into something rather special

    • Preparation time: 10 minutes, plus overnight soaking
    • Cooking time: 1 hour 5 minutes
    • Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes

    Serves: 4

    Ingredients

    125g dried chickpeas, soaked for 24 hours in cold water
    ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
    1 fresh bay leaf
    2½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
    500g ripe tomatoes, halved or quartered (depending on size)
    2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
    1 large echalion shallot, finely chopped
    25ml sherry vinegar
    60ml dry sherry
    ½ tsp smoked paprika
    ¼ x 20g pack fresh dill, finely chopped, plus extra to serve
    240g cod fillets

    Method

    1. Drain the soaked chickpeas, then put in a medium saucepan with the bicarbonate of soda and bay leaf. Cover with water and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes-1 hour, or until the chickpeas are soft.

    2. Meanwhile, to make the sauce, put a frying pan over a medium heat. Add 1½ tbsp olive oil and the tomatoes. Toss until coated, then add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the shallot and sweat for 2-3 minutes. Add the vinegar and cook for a few minutes more. Stir in the sherry and continue to cook over a medium heat until the alcohol has evaporated and the tomatoes have broken down to make a thick sauce (this can take 5-8 minutes with small tomatoes or up to 20 minutes with larger ones).

    3. Add the paprika and season. Stir in the cooked chickpeas so they are completely covered with the sauce. Add the dill, then remove from the heat. Put a frying pan over a medium heat with 1 tbsp oil. Once hot, pat the cod dry and fry for 2-3 minutes. Season, then turn over and cook on the other side for about 1-3 minutes, until cooked through and opaque. Halve the fillets and serve on top of the chickpeas, drizzled with a little more oil and scattered with extra dill.

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