Brandade de Morue
A delicious Salt Cod Recipe
Brandade de Morue is a famous and tasty salt cod recipe from the Languedoc region in France which was traditionally served for lunch on a Friday.
Brandade may be served hot in a vol-au-vent-case, or cold, surrounded by either fresh or toasted slices of baguette.
It is a simple recipe which consists of salt cod, soaked and poached, then pounded together with milk and oil until the mixture becomes a smooth, thick cream. Pepper, grated nutmeg, lemon juice and crushed garlic are then added to taste.
The only time consuming stage of the recipe for Brandade de Morue is pre-soaking the cod for about 24 hours beforehand in the refrigerator, and changing the water 3-4 times before preparation.
- 1 lb. salt cod, skinless, boneless and cut into squares
- 1 cup good quality olive oil
- ½ cup milk or heavy cream
- 1 tbs. fresh lemon juice, or to taste
- 1 cup onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed or grated
- pepper and nutmeg to taste
- Place the salt cod in a large bowl of cold water. Make sure the fish is well covered with the water in order for it to rehydrate.
- Soak the salt cod for at least 24 hours, changing the water several times to remove most of the salt. You don't want to remove all the salt, as the fish should taste just a little saltier than cooked fish seasoned with salt.
If you desalinate the fish too much, you can always add some sea salt to the water for the last hour or so.
- Poach (simmer) the cod in plain water for 25 minutes or until it flakes easily when tested.
Cook's note: Be careful to bring the salt cod to just a simmer, otherwise the cod will become tough if boiled.
The French term for poach is frisonne - shivering.
- Drain well or pat dry and break it into pieces.
- Cook the onion in olive oil over low heat until translucent.
- In a food processor, purée the cod, onion and garlic with half of the olive oil. Mix until the oil is absorbed and there are no lumps in the fish.
- With the motor running alternatively add the milk or cream and rest of the oil no more than a half a teaspoon at a time, mixing well after each addition.
- Blend until smooth and creamy. If it is too thick, thin with milk or cream.
- Season with the lemon juice, pepper and nutmeg.
Serve the Brandade de Morue with toasted slices of baguette drizzled with olive oil.
Or serve on crisply toasted baguette topped with baby greens and tomatoes.