- 180 ml maple syrup (3/4 cup)
- 1 birdseye chilli, thinly sliced
- Cottonseed oil or sunflower oil, for deep-frying
- Soft-poached eggs, to serve
- Thinly sliced spring onion, to serve
- 500 gm salt cod, rinsed of excess salt, soaked in cold water overnight
- 1 litre milk
- 6 garlic cloves
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- 75 ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 200 gm floury potato, such as sebago, diced
- 125 gm chilled unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp smoked salt (see note)
- 300 ml buttermilk
- 175 gm eggs (about 3)
- 1½ tsp caster sugar
- 300 gm self-raising flour (2 cups)
- 100 gm butter, melted
- 125 ml clarified butter (see note) (1/2 cup)
- 1For bacalao fritters, drain cod, rinse then combine with milk, garlic and bay leaves in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain, reserving 55ml milk (discard garlic and bay leaves). Discard cod skin and bones, then pulse cod in a food processor with oil until finely chopped. Add reserved milk and pulse to emulsify. Simmer potato in salted water until soft (8-10 minutes), drain, then press through a ricer or a coarse sieve into a bowl. Stir in fish mixture, cover and refrigerate until required.
- 2For smoked maple butter, blend ingredients in a small food processor, then refrigerate until required.
- 3Combine maple syrup and chilli in a small saucepan, bring to the boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer to infuse (1-2 minutes). Cool, then refrigerate until required.
- 4For buttermilk pancakes, whisk buttermilk, eggs, sugar and 1 tsp salt in a bowl, then sieve in flour and whisk to just incorporate. Drizzle in melted butter and fold to combine. Preheat oven to 180C. Heat a quarter of the clarified butter and a quarter of the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, add batter to form two 10cm pancakes and cook until browned on the base and bubbles appear on the surface (3-4 minutes). Turn and cook the other side until golden brown (2-3 minutes). Transfer to a tray, wipe out pan and repeat to make 8 pancakes. Keep warm in oven while you fry the bacalao fritters.
- 5Heat cottonseed oil in a large saucepan to 180C. Using 2 dessertspoons, form egg shapes of bacalao mixture and deep-fry in batches, turning occasionally, until golden brown (5-6 minutes). Drain on paper towels. 6 Place pancakes on serving plates, spread each with a little smoked maple butter, leaving a little knob of butter on each. Top each with a bacalao fritter and poached egg, drizzle with chilli maple syrup and serve hot scattered with spring onion.
Smoked salt is available from select delicatessens. To make clarified butter, cook 250gm cubes of cold butter in a saucepan over low heat until milk solids separate to the bottom of the pan and the top liquid is almost clear (7-9 minutes). Pass the clear top layer through a sieve lined with paper towels and refrigerate until required. Makes about 160ml clarified butter.
Drink Suggestion: Palo cortado sherry
Drink suggestion by Joe Valore