Porrusalda or Leek Casserole

Friday, 1 January 2016

This week I haven’t been much around the kitchen. My mum has come to stay with us over Christmas so why would I cook myself having my mum around? Let me tell you something: my mum is an absolutely amazing cook. I don’t know how she does it but even if we use the same ingredients in the same proportions and we follow exactly the same recipe, mine never tastes as good as hers.

Additionally, as every Christmas, the viruses have come to stay with us as well, and I've been dragging my body from the sofa to the bed leaving a trail of snotty hankies behind me.

So I’ve been really taking advantage of my mum, bless her, letting her do all the cooking.

My mum is one of these persons who expresses her love through cooking. She puts so much effort, energy and enthusiasm in cooking tasty, varied and nutritious dishes that she usually ends up not eating her own food and having a sandwich. Yes, that’s my mum. She always says that after all the time peeling, chopping, smelling, trying, cooking, she feels so absolutely full that she’s completely unable to taste even a mouthful.

I love cooking with my mum. I normally play the kitchen helper role, and although she pretends to consult the next steps with me, she does whatever she likes.

Mum: Shall I put some paprika on this stew?
Me: Yes, I think that would taste lovely!
Mum: No, I better don’t, not sure it will taste nice.


Mum: oh, this steak looks pretty bland. Do you think I should add some more salt?
Me: no mum, it tastes quite salty already.
Mum: yes, yes, a bit more salt won’t kill us.

So basically I’m not sure whether she was actually speaking loud voice or if after 34 years of training hard she has developed a hearing ability that ignores my voice frequency as soon as I speak.

Anyway, it does not really matter as I really enjoy looking at her mixing, adding and tasting different concoctions until the result is to her desired standard or is actually that late that if we don’t have what she’s preparing for lunch we’d have to eat it for breakfast.

This week recipe is one of her best ones. A typical post-Christmas stew that makes an amazing hungover relieve and a great remedy against colds.

Thanks mum!


Serves 4

5 Leeks
3 Potatoes
2 Onions
2tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1.5L water
1 Bunch Fresh Rosemary
2 Bay Leaves
Salt and Pepper to taste

Fresh Cod – 4 Fillets
Fresh Parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste


Peel and chop the onions and leeks.

In a deep pan, bring the olive oil to high heat and stir the onions and leeks until soft and brown.

Wash and peel the potatoes. There is an old peasant trick to keep in mind when using potatoes in a stew. Then cut the potatoes inserting the knife only partway, so the potato is not cut all the way through. To complete the cut, break the piece off with a snap. You’ll have irregular chunks with broken edges that will allow potato starch to be released more efficiently and thus, thickening the stew and giving it a better consistency. Add the potato chunks to the leeks and onions. Stir fry for around 5 minutes.

Add the rosemary and bay leaves and season with salt and pepper. Pour in the water and cook to medium heat for 45 minutes until the potatoes are soft and tender.

Just before serving, heat 2 table spoons of extra virgin olive oil in a saucepan. Add the cod fillets leaving the skin on top. When the flesh is starting to look brown and crispy, turn the fish. Season with salt, pepper and parsley.

Serve the pourrusalda in a deep plate and put the cod fillet on top.

Serve hot and enjoy!

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