Brandade de Morue

Readers of Pebble Soup will know that I grew up in Nimes in the South of France, it was my dad's glorious years and though we moved back to Lyon when I was 10 years old, tales and customs of Provence surrounded us for a long time afterwards.

Already at such a young age, I was a fish fanatic and one of my favourite dish was la brandade de morue. It's a salted cod puree stirred for a long time with garlic and milk, some add potatoes to it and of course, there are a few variations: salted cod or fresh cod fillets salted, cream or milk or both. It's oven baked, served hot or cold with toasted or fried bread.

Originally from Nimes, brandado (in provencal) became quickly known throughout the area and is often consumed at Easter.

Though I love it, I have never made it from scratch. But due to the incredible kindness of a follow twitterer, I received one pot via the post only a few days after me commenting on a tweet. The kindness of others never ceased to amaze me, Thank you David, you are a star.

What I didn't know at the time was that the salted cod used is lovingly prepared and best quality. David is a second generation fisherman, he cures and salts cod and pollock. Cod brandade will be Thule Ventus next venture and I am delighted to have been one of the first persons to give him feedback. Just hoping that my childhood memories of baked brandade in a scallop shell were accurate enough.

If you fancy making your own, here is how to do it

                                        Brandade de Morue 
200g of salted cod
1 peeled onion
6 black peppercorns
a couple of bay leaves
5 tbs of olive oil
a squeeze of lemon juice (optional)

You will start by desalting the cod. The process takes 24 hours in the fridge, the cod is place in a recipient covered with water and the water is changed at least three times.

24hours later, in a saucepan, place the onion, 6 black peppercorns, a couple of bay leaves an a pint of milk, add the cod and bring it to the boil, lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Lift the cod allow to cool, debone and skin

Cook one of two potatoes (no more than 200g) in the milk. When cook, lift it and mash it.
Keep the milk

Purée the cod and the garlic in a food processor with enough milk and when the mixture is well mashed so, at the last minute add the potato whisk a couple of times use the pulse button if you have one as potatoes treated this way can get really gluey.

Transfer to a dish add lemon juice (if using) 5tbsp of oil, stir well, it should be almost sloppy but not quite.

Served on toast or alternatively oven baked topped with bread crumbs.

What best recipe to add to Inheritance Recipes? This month hosted by Margot I can't think of any but maybe you do, come and join us.

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