In the vast world of cooking, there are dishes that stand out for their simplicity, exquisiteness, and authenticity. A clear example is the Kokotxas de Cod al Pil Pil, a traditional Basque recipe that conquers the most demanding palates.
The kokotxas, that delicate part of the chin of the cod, become a true culinary gem when prepared “pil pil” style. In this article, I will share the necessary ingredients, the preparation steps, the cooking time and the difficulty, as well as the perfect sauces to accompany this very special dish.
Join us as we walk you through the ingredients, preparation steps, and delicious sauces to enhance this dish. In just 30 minutes, you can enjoy tender and juicy kokotxas in their ‘pil pil’ sauce. An essential culinary experience for lovers of good food!
Ingredients to make cod kokotxas al pil pil
- 500 grams of fresh cod kokotxas
- 6 garlic cloves
- 250 ml of extra virgin olive oil
- Salt (to taste)
- 1 or 2 spoons of white wine
- a pinch of parsley
Preparation of the kokotxas recipe:
- Start by carefully cleaning the cod kokotxas, making sure to remove any remaining skin or bones. If necessary, you can ask your fishmonger for help to obtain the kokotxas in optimal conditions.
- In a clay pot or heavy-bottomed skillet, pour the olive oil and place over medium heat.
- Add the whole, unpeeled garlic cloves to the casserole. Let them brown slightly, but avoid burning.
- When the garlic begins to brown, add the cod kokotxas to the casserole. Try to place them with the skin facing down so that they are impregnated with the flavors of the oil and garlic.
- As the kokotxas cook, the natural collagen in the fish will release, creating a thick, gelatinous sauce, known as “pil pil”. It is important to move the pan gently from time to time so that the sauce forms evenly.
- Cook the kokotxas al pil pil for approximately 8-10 minutes, until juicy and tender. Avoid overcooking them, as they will lose their delicate texture.
- Once ready, remove the kokotxas from the heat and let them rest for a few minutes. This will allow the sauce to settle and take on an even more velvety consistency.
- Before serving, you can remove the garlic if you prefer or leave it as a garnish. Add salt to taste and make sure that the kokotxas are well covered with the sauce.
Time and difficulty:
The preparation of Kokotxas de Cod al Pil Pil requires approximately 30 minutes in total, including cleaning and cooking. In terms of difficulty, this dish can be considered intermediate level, since it requires a bit of skill to get the texture and the exact point of the sauce.
Sauces to accompany
- Piquillo Sauce : This sauce made from roasted piquillo peppers will add a touch of sweetness and softness to the kokotxas. To prepare it, simply process roasted piquillo peppers together with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. If you want a creamier touch, you can add a little liquid cream.
- Green Sauce : The classic green sauce is a refreshing and aromatic option to enhance the flavor of the kokotxas. To make it, you will need fresh parsley, garlic, olive oil, fish stock, and a pinch of flour to thicken. Crush the parsley and garlic in a mortar, then add the oil and the hot fish broth while stirring. Cook over low heat until the sauce thickens slightly.
- Aioli : The aioli, a sauce made from garlic and olive oil, will provide an intense flavor and creaminess to the kokotxas. You can do it by mixing finely chopped garlic with olive oil while whisking vigorously until you get a thick and smooth emulsion. If you prefer a milder version, you can add a bit of mayonnaise to the aioli.
- Txakoli sauce : Txakoli, a typical young white wine from the Basque Country, is an excellent accompaniment to kokotxas. To make the sauce, mix txakoli with a little fish stock and cook over low heat until reduced and slightly thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste.
These sauces will perfectly complement the cod kokotxas al pil pil, enhancing its flavor and adding a touch of sophistication. Enjoy this exquisite traditional Basque recipe!