Salt Cod with Eggplant

(Bacalao con Berenjena)

  • ¼ cup Achiote Oil
  • ½ cup Sofrito
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Two 8-ounce cans Spanish-style tomato sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 large eggplant (about 20 ounces), stemmed, peeled and cut into 1 ½ inch chunks
  • 3 pounds salt cod, soaked, cooked and flaked
  • 1 cup water, or as needed
  • 3 leaves culantro, torn into rough pieces or ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Makes 8 servings

Heat the achiote oil in a heavy 5- or 6-quart pot over medium heat. Add the sofrito and cumin and cook until most of the liquid is evaporated. Add the tomato sauce and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Stir in the eggplant until coated with sauce, then stir in the salt cod. Tear the leaves of culantro, if using, into the pot and pour in the water. Bring to a boil, adjust the heat so the sauce is simmering and cover the pot. Cook until the eggplant is very tender, about 45 minutes. Check the pot from time to time to make sure there is enough liquid to barely cover the eggplant. If not, top off with a little water.
Serve with white rice or tostones or with crusty bread as a light supper.

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