Pick-Up Saltfish

This Caribbean pepper is famous for being the hottest chile pepper in the world. They come in a variety of shapes and colors(yellow, orange,green, red,chocolate). Not only are they extremely hot, but they also have a unique,distinctively fruity flavor.

It is the key ingredient in the popular Jamaican Jerk sauce. The habanero is also widely used in many different types of hot sauces. The popularity of this chile pepper continues to grow and is becoming easier to find on the grocery shelf.

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1 12-oz piece dried salt cod (with skin and bones)
1 medium onion, minced
1 medium green bell pepper, minced
2 medium tomatoes, seeded, finely chopped
3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp finely grated lime peel
1/2 tsp minced seeded Scotch bonnet chile or habanero chile
1 hard-boiled egg, peeled, chopped
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, sliced


Rinse salt cod with cold water. Place fish in large bowl, and cover with water. Cover bowl and refrigerate at least 24 hours, changing water once. Drain.

Place fish in large skillet. Cover with cold water and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until fish flakes easily, about 50 minutes. Drain, and cool slightly. Using fingers, shred fish, discarding skin and bones. Measure 1 1/2 cups shredded fish and place in medium bowl (reserve any remaining fish for another use). Add onion, bell pepper, tomatoes, lime juice, lime peel, and chile to fish and stir to blend. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 4 hours ahead. Cover and chill.)

Mound salad in center of platter. Sprinkle with chopped egg. Surround with avocado slices and serve.

Makes 8 appetizer servings.

From Bon Appetit, May 2006.