Brandade de Morue au Gratin
Recipe from Food and Wine
Cooking time: 1 day 1 hour
Yield: 8-10 servings
1 lb skinless salt cod fillet
1 lb large red-skinned potatoes
1 1/2 cups whole milk
8 large garlic cloves, peeled
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the baking dish
freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 baguettes, cut into rounds and toasted for serving
- Soak the salt cod in cold water for 24 hours, changing the water every 6 hours for a total of 4 times.
- Put the potatoes in a small pot covered with water. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until tender and a fork can easily pierce through, about 30 minutes. Drain and cool the temperatures until easy to handle.
- Drain the cod and put in a medium pot with 2 quarts of water. When the water begins to boil, remove from heat and drain the pot. Rinse the pot and add the fish back in with 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil once again, simmering for 5 minutes over low heat. Drain the water one more time and add the cod back to the pan with the milk and garlic. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cover, reduce heat and continue to simmer for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, peel the potatoes, discarding the skin. Break up the potatoes and put in a food processor along with the heated cod, milk, and garlic. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice and cayenne. Process until the mixture is smooth. Slowly, while the machine is still on, drizzle the oil into the fish mixture, making sure the oil is fully mixed into the fish. Season with salt and pepper.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Lightly oil a 9x13 baking dish. Spread the prepared brandade into the baking dish and sprinkle the Parmigiano cheese on top. Bake in the top third of the oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with the toasted baguette.
per serving (8 servings total): 304 calories, 22.6g fat (4g saturated, 2.4g polyunsaturated, 15.3g monounsaturated) 12.5g carbohydrates, 1g fiber, 13.4g protein
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
Boy did I have a difficult time locating salt cod! Many of the large supermarkets did not have this item; only Whole Foods and a specialty Italian market carried it. It doesn't come cheap either at $15 a pound.
Even after soaking the fish for 24 hours and changing the water 4 times, you can still smell the saltiness from the fish. While boiling the first time, you can see the foam that arises from the salt in the water.
Make sure to rinse your pot before cooking the fish again; you can actually see all the salt on your pot!
When tasting the finished brandade, I did season it with salt and pepper. All the saltiness from the fish is removed so I did find that it needed some seasoning. At this point you can choose to refrigerate the brandade for up to three times and bake later.
I also finished the brandade in the broiler to give it a nice color.
The finished product was actually light in taste and well-balanced. You have a nice shell from the cheese and when you dig in, you can see the creaminess of the brandade inside. Although it mainly consists of cod, it doesn't have that fishy taste. I actually liked mine with a finishing squeeze of lime. This recipe does make a large batch so no need to fight over the last bite!