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Fried Salt Cod - (Baccala Fritto)

2 pounds salt cod -- portioned into 8-oz fillets, all bones removed
1 cup semolina flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil -- divided
2 quarts olive oil -- for frying
1 cup coarse bread crumbs
1 cup parsley leaves - (loosely packed)
1 small red onion -- thinly sliced
1 pint cherry tomatoes -- stems removed, and cut in half
1 tablespoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice
Salt -- to taste
Freshly-ground black pepper -- to taste

Rinse the fish in cold water, then soak for 48 hours in 4 changes of cold water. In a large bowl, combine the semolina flour, the all-purpose flour, the baking powder, baking soda, salt, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and enough water so that a loose batter is formed.

In a tall-sided pot or deep fryer, heat the olive oil to 375 degrees.

Dip each fillet in the batter, allowing the excess to drip off, then dip in the bread crumbs to coat.

When the oil is at temperature, gently drop the fillets in the oil and cook until golden brown and crisp, about 5 minutes.

While the fish cooks, in a medium-sized bowl, combine the parsley, onion and tomatoes and toss with 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Remove the fish from the oil, season with salt and pepper, briefly drain on a plate lined with paper towels, and serve with 1/4 of the salad mounded atop each portion.

This recipe yields 4 servings.

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