There are a lot of traditional Christmas dishes in Portugal but my favorite one is Pastéis de Bacalhau.
2 cups milk
4 potatoes, chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound salted cod (If you can’t find this locally, you can always buy some easily here on Amazon)
1 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon cilantro, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup vegetable oil, for frying
2 lemons sliced thinly
1/2 cup black olives for garnish
1) Soak the dried cod in cold water for a day, changing the water 3-4 times.
2) Drain the cod, rinse, and put it in a large pot. Add the milk and enough water to cover an inch.
3) Simmer gently over medium-low heat for 20 to 25 minutes, until the cod is tender.
4) Drain and rinse the cod well, removing any little bits of skin and bone.
5) While the cod is cooking, pour 1-inch of water in a large pot.
6) Add the potatoes and simmer on medium heat for 20 to 25 minutes until very tender.
7) Drain the potatoes, peel off the skins, and mash them well with a potato masher.
8) In a bowl, add the cod to the potatoes, along with the onion, garlic, parsley, cilantro, and eggs.
9) Beat the mixture firmly with a spoon until it is a smooth and even consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
10) Shape the cod mixture into medium sized cylinder shaped pieces.
11) Pour the oil in a deep heavy skillet or pot and place it on high heat.
12) Add the pieces one by one, turning them over until they are golden brown.
13) Once done remove the pieces and place them on a plate with paper towels to dry.
14) Serve while hot with the sliced lemons for extra flavor.