I think mom wins. The bacaliaro fritters in the picture above were made by my mother. In the picture below you can see the ones I made.
1 & 1/2 pounds boneless, dry salted cod
8 ounces of beer
1 cup all-purpose flour
about 2 or 3 cups canola oil, for frying
ground black pepper to taste
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon baking powder
a dash of paprika (optional)
- Rinse the excess salt from the cod. Place it in a large bowl, and cover it with cold water by several inches. Soak, refrigerated, for 24 hours, changing the water every 6 to 8 hours. Drain for the last time and pat dry with paper towels.
- Using your hands, shred the salt cod finely and place into a large bowl.
- Mix the flour with the baking powder and black pepper. Add the paprika if using.
- In a small bowl add the beer and whisk in the flour, whisking until no lumps remain.
- Stir the flour mixture into the shredded salt cod until well combined. Add the beaten egg and mix well.
- Heat the oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, working in batches, use a spoon to mold the fish into flattened balls about 2 inches in diameter. Carefully slip them into the oil. Do not overcrowd the pan because the temperature of the oil will drop and the fritters will get soggy.
- Cook, turning once, until golden brown, about 6 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
- Serve warm with caper and almond skordalia (recipe is here).