Brandade

Comfort food for a snowy afternoon.  Inspired by Jacques Pepin


Every so often I get a culinary urge.  This time it was mid-week and I remembered how much  I enjoyed brandade.  Brandade is an old French bistro dish that was served on Fridays.  It’s porridge like and scented with garlic and thyme make this the kind of dish to have when it’s cold and damp.   This version is a take on a Jacque Pepin recipe from his book, Chez Jacques. The only part of the recipe that’s time consuming is the long soak, to rid the fish of the salt that acts as a preserve.

INGREDIENTS
1 pound boned dried salt cod
6 quarts of water for soaking
1 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cup peeled and cubed Yukon Gold potatoes
5 cloves peeled garlic
good amount of ground pepper
3 sprigs of thyme
1/3 cup best quality olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
1 tablespoon grated parmesan

INSTRUCTIONS
1.  To remove the salt, soak the dried salt cod in 6 quarts of cool water for 4 1/2 hours, changing water halfway through. Place soaked fish in medium saucepan and cover with water. Boil for 3 minutes. Drain in a colander.
2.  In a medium saucepan, add fish with yogurt, milk, potatoes, garlic, black pepper and thyme. Boil, and reduce to gentle simmer for 30 minutes.
3.  Remove thyme and pour fish mixture along with olive oil in food processor and puree.  Top with grated parmesan.

SERVE
Divide among a few small gratin dishes and serve with toasted baguette slices.
When reheating, sprinkle grated parmesan and bake in pre-heated oven for about 20 minutes until nicely browned.