Every country across the world has its own way of celebrating Christmas. Mexico has many wonderful Christmas traditions, but one of the most important is the food. It’s not Christmas without pozole, tamales, buñuelos, or ponche. Another one of those important dishes is this vegan Bacalao a la Vizcaína.
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Bacalao a la Vizcaína is a braised salt cod dish with tomatoes, garlic, olives, capers, roasted peppers, and potatoes. Depending what part of the country you are in they also add raisins and slivered almonds. For this vegan version I️ have used hearts of palm and artichoke hearts to replace the salt cod. The dish is an adaptation of a Spanish classic, and is mostly consumed in central and southern Mexico on Christmas Eve. Serve it with rice or crusty bread to soak up to the last drop of the stew.
What are some of your favorite Christmas foods? My favorite is without a doubt tamales, and the are super easy to veganize! My favorite Christmas traditions are decorating the tree as a family, pedir posada, and singing Happy birthday to Jesus, and then having the kids kiss little baby Jesus on Christmas Eve. Ok, so there’s a lot of stuff I️ like about Christmas! I️ would love to hear some of your traditions.
The Recipe: Vegan Bacalao a la Vizcaína
I have used one can of hearts of palm and one can of artichoke hearts, but feel free to use one or the other. To give this a fishy flavor you can use dulse flakes or finely chopped nori seaweed. Enjoy!
1can (14 oz.)Hearts of palm, drained, roughly chopped
1/3cupSliced,pitted manzanilla olives
3Red bell peppers,roasted, peeled, cut into strips
1-2tsp.Finely chopped nori flakes
1lb.New potatoes,cooked, peeled, cut in half
3Pickled pepperoni or banana pepperswhole or sliced
Preheat oven broiler to HI. Place tomatoes on a sheet try and place under the broiler for 4 minutes, until the tomatoes begin to brown and be covered in black spots.
Turn the tomatoes and leave in oven for 4 more minutes. Remove from oven. Using your blender, process until you have a smooth puree. Strain and set aside.
Heat a large pot to medium-low heat and add ¼ cup of water. Add onions and let cook until tender and transparent, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, and cook for 1 more minute.
Pour in tomato puree, and bring it up to a simmer.
Add hearts of palm, artichoke hearts, olives, capers, red peppers, bay leaf, and nori flakes. Continue to simmer for 5-6 minutes. Stir well.
Add parsley, potatoes, pickled banana peppers. Let simmer for 8 more minutes. If the sauce thickens too much, adjust with vegetable stock or water.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
If you are looking for a fishy taste use 2 tsp. of nori flakes. Serve with rice or crusty bread. The pickled pepper can be spicy or mild depending on your preference. In some states they add raisins and slivered almonds, you can add those as well.
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