This is the recipe I have made and taught many times. and yes, it's the one I ate all of last winter!
I hope you like it, too!
BRANDADE DE MORUE
(Purée of salt cod with potatoes, olive oil, garlic and cream)
Lots of Americans are put off by the appearance of salt cod. It does look rather like an ugly board! But once it's been soaked, poached and puréed with potatoes and garlic, the results become smooth, flavorful and creamy. To me, Brandade de Morue is the ultimate Mashed Potatoes! You've GOT to love it!!!
makes about 1 quart -- 6 hors d'oeuvre servings
1 pound salt cod, soaked overnight
1 bay leaf
1 onion stuck with 1 whole clove
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 to 6 large cloves garlic, puréed with the side of a chef's knife
1 large warm baked potato (about 1 pound)
3/4 to 1 cup cream, warmed (use whole milk if you prefer)
about 1/2 cup more olive oil, warmed
sea salt & freshly ground pepper
a few drops of lemon juice
1. Place the salt cod in a large bowl of cold water to cover. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to soak for one or two days. Change the water at least four times during the soaking period. Drain. Before you poach the cod, taste a little bit to make sure it is not too salty.
2. Put the cod into a heavy, non-reactive 3-quart saucepan and cover with cold water. Add the bay leaf and onion and bring slowly to a boil. Lower the heat and let it simmer gently for 5 minutes, then allow it to cool in the water. Drain. Remove skin and bones and break it into pieces.
3. Clean the saucepan and return the poached cod to the pan. Add the 1/4 cup olive oil and stir vigorously over moderate heat for several minutes to shred the fish and warm the oil. Heat the remaining olive oil and cream in another pan just to warm them.
4. Place the cod in the workbowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Add the potato and garlic and process for a few seconds. Add the garlic and continue processing, alternately adding warm oil and cream until mixture is the consistency of fluffy mashed potatoes -- exact amounts of each are up to you. Season to taste with salt, pepper and drops of lemon juice.
5. To serve as a dip, place in a warmed bowl, garnish with finely chopped parsley and a handful of Niçoise olives, and surround with toast points, crôutes or freshly made potato chips.
Brandade can be served as a cocktail hors d'oeuvre, as a first course or as part of a brunch buffet. With the addition of just a tangy green salad and a loaf of crusty bread, it becomes a casual supper main dish!
If you have any leftovers, they can be turned into delicious codfish balls or cakes, using your favorite recipe.