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Bakaliaro Tighanito (deep-fried Cod)
2 1/2 lb Salt cod
3 c Flour
2 c Water; lukewarm 110 to 115 degrees (F)
1/2 ts Baking soda
1/2 ts Salt
Vegetable oil; or shortening for deep-frying
Skordalia; (garlic/potato sauce) or 2 lemons, each cut lengthwise into 6 or 8 wedges
Starting a day ahead of time, place the cod in a glass, enameled or stainless steel pan or bowl, cover it with cold water and soak for at least 12 hours, changing the water 3 or 4 times. Drain the cod, rinse under cold running water, and cut into pieces about 2 inches long and 1 inch wide. An hour or so before you plan to serve the cod, make the batter. In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups of the flour, the warm water, baking soda and salt and, with a large spoon, mix to a fairly smooth cream but do not over beat. Then let the batter rest for about 1 hour at room temperature. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees (F). Line a large baking dish or pan with paper towels and set it aside. In a deep fryer, heat 3 to 4 inches of oil or shortening until it reaches a temperature of 375 on a deep frying thermometer. Pat the fish completely dry with paper towels. Dip the pieces, one at a time, into the remaining cup of flour and shake vigorously to remove any excess. Six or 7 pieces at a time, drop the fish into the batter, and when thoroughly coated, lift them out with tongs and deep fry them for 5 or 6 minutes, turning them over frequently until they are golden brown. Transfer them to the lined dish and keep them warm in the oven while you fry the remaining fish. Serve hot, accompanied by skordalia or garnished with lemon wedges.