Travel & Cuisine

Cod fish in EVOO and mashed potatoes

I declare myself a fish lover, and one of my favorite fish to eat and to cook with is cod. Here’s why:

  • It’s so tasty on its own and has a truly distinctive flavor.
  • The texture of cod is firm and tender at the same time, and it flakes beautifully when cooked properly.
  • It’s versatile and the cooking possibilities are countless–from the classic cod with tomato sauce and black olives, to cod with scrambled eggs, or a chickpea stew with cod fish.

Spaniards love to eat cod fish at Christmas time, and that’s the fourth reason that I love cod so much–it reminds me of my childhood. 

Cod fish - finished

I belong to a traditional Southern Spanish family. That means that one of our favorite ways to spend our time is to cook and eat together. This is typically an all-day affair that begins in the morning (with prep work) and ends in the late afternoon or early evening, after sitting together and feasting on a mid-day meal that will last at least three hours. 

On my mother’s side of the family, we have a traditional dish that we prepare together at the beginning of every year in celebration of the 6th of January, or Three Kings Day. 

This dish was “bacalao al pil-pil,” which translates to cod cooked slowly in extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO). The cooking process required a clay pot and took about four hours from start to finish. 

To honor those days, I have updated our traditional family recipe to feature a less complex cooking process that takes only a fraction of the time to prepare. 

If you are a beginner cook and a fish lover too, this is a perfect dish for you: a delicate, luscious, flavorful easy fish recipe.



  • To cook the cod:
  • 200 g of cod fish per person
  • 1 cup of EVOO (or enough to fully cover the cod fillets)
  • To cook the mashed potatoes:
  • 3 large russet potatoes, peeled and boiled
  • 3/4 cup of whole milk
  • 1/4 cup of smoked EVOO ( I always use the brand Castillo de Canena)
  • freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • sea salt (to taste)
  • To garnish on top:
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 8 – 10 dried cayenne peppers
  • 1/4 cup EVOO to fry the garlic
Fresh ingredients to cook the cod in EVOO


  • Microwave-safe bowl.
  • Saran wrap.
  • 1 frying pan.
  • 1 large saucepan.
  • A microwave.


For the cod:

  • Place the cod fillets into a microwave-safe bowl.
  • Fill the bowl with EVOO until the fish is mostly covered.
  • Cover the bowl with saran wrap and cook in the microwave for 3 – 4 minutes (800 w).
  • Drain the oil and serve the fish.

For the smoked mashed potato:

  • Peel, chop and boil the potatoes.
  • Mash the boiled potatoes with 3/4 cup of whole milk and 1/4 cup of smoked EVOO.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.

For the garnish:

  • Peel and thinly slice four cloves of garlic.
  • Add the EVOO into a frying pan and heat it to medium heat.
  • Fry the garlic until it turns to a nice golden color.
  • Add the cayenne peppers at the very end and give them a very quick fry with the garlic. 
  • Drain the garlic and the cayenne pepper from the oil.

Plate up

Put a layer of smoked mashed potatoes and set the cod on top.

Garnish with the fried garlic and cayenne peppers.

Optional: emulsify the oil from cooking the cod and drizzle it on top of everything. 

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