Bacalao and Paddling Pools

This week the kids started their summer break. I managed to break free of my terminal denial of the situation and threw the oldest two into a local adventure playground.  Armed with sandwiches and juice I released them, handed over my phone number and drove away.  They, of course loved it!  So did I, because it gave me time to recreate one of the dishes I had in Arles, a creamy salt fish dish Bacalao y Bechamel.

We ate at this wonderful tapas restaurant and It was one of the dishes that stuck with me. The creamy sweet roux and the salty shards of fish were a heavenly combination.  I made my own version and I happily give you the recipe.  I added breadcrumbs on top and served with a side of green peas. Mainly because I made it for the kids supper.  Feel free to leave out the breadcrumbs and serve it with crusty bread or a simple bean dish.

I can’t seem to stop making pasta as you will see by the photos below. I am also shooting a pesto/gremolata story with Lisa this week, so made a gremolata, which then ended up on the pasta. The kids also demanded oatmeal cookies.

This weather is divine and long may it stay.  Lola as she was leaving for the park, looked at the pink princess blow up paddling pool in our back yard. “Hey mum, you can sit in there in your swim suit with a glass of wine and a magazine, all on your own. Wouldn’t you like that?” ……Hmmm I just might Lola.

Have a wonderful day!

Rachelle x


 Bacalao Y Bechamel


  • 500g salt cod fillet soaked overnight in cold water
  • 1 white onion finely chopped
  • 50g gruyere cheese grated
For the Bechamel
  • 25g butter
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 500ml milk
  • Sea salt
Drain the cod and put it in a saucepan. Pour in water to cover and just bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and set aside for 10mins.  Then remove the cod from the water and discard the skin flake into bite size pieces, set aside.
In a large frying pan melt the butter and add the chopped onion, with the a pinch of sea salt.  When the onion is translucent (around 5mins).  Add the flour and stir until the butter has been absorbed and you have a floury claggy mess.
Then a little at a time add the milk, let the flour absorb all the milk before you add the next bit. Keep going until your claggy mess begins to form a smoothish sauce (it wont be totally smooth because of the onions). This process takes about 8mins.
When all the milk is absorbed. Cook for another couple of mins stirring constantly and then turn off the heat. Add your grated cheese and flaked fish. Place in an oven proof baking dish. Sprinkle bread crumbs on top if you wish.
Turn on the oven to 180C and cook for 20mins.
Serve with crusty bread!





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