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Bacalaitos (Salt Codfish Fritters)

1/2 lb Codfish, salt
2 c Flour, all-purpose
2 ts Baking powder
1 lg Garlic cloves; crushed
1 c Water
1 tb Annatto oil
Oil, vegetable; for frying


Soak the codfish in cold water for 2 hours or longer, according the the saltiness and hardness of the fish. Drain, rinse and place in a small saucepan. Pour boiling water over the fish and allow to stand 5 minutes. Drain. Remove any bones and skin and shred the fish. Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Add the garlic, water and annatto oil and mix to a smooth batter. Add the shredded fish and mix well. Heat oil to 370F in a deep fryer or large, heavy saucepan. Fry the the mixture by teaspoonfuls until golden brown. Drain on paper towels, keep warm and serve hot as hors-d'aeuvres.


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