Lucky Friday the 13th with Tasty Fish on Friday – Brandade de Morue, French Salt Cod and Potato Gratin

Brandade de Morue with Scottish Salt Cod

Lucky Friday the 13th with Tasty Fish on Friday

~ Brandade de Morue ~

(French Salt Cod and Potato Gratin)

Brandade is a French dish which is a creamy, whipped emulsion of salt cod, garlic, parsley and olive oil which tends to be eaten in winter with bread or deep-fried toasts or croutons. In France it’s called Brandade de Morue and in Spain it is usually called Brandada de bacalao (‘morue‘ is the French name for salt cod and bacalao in the Spanish name). Brandade is a specialty of the Languedoc and Provence regions of Occitanie (in present-day France), although the combination of salt cod with olive oil, garlic and sometimes potatoes is found throughout the Mediterranean region.  Yesterday I made salt cod fritters, with a very Spanish feel using saffron and pimenton (smoked paprika), but today is the turn of a classic hearty French dish, but with my usual twist on proceedings! It has to be noted that both these recipes have NOT been made with local French morue or its Spanish equivalent of bacalao, but they have been made with some amazing Scottish salt cod that was sent to me recently by John of Delish Fish in Peterhead, Scotland. The salt cod that I was sent was a dream to use and was already skinned and boned, although you still need to desalinate it for at least two to three hours before cooking it.

My take on Brandade de Morue, served as a main meal with salad and baguette

If you are using normal dried salt cod, I have posted a step-by-step series of photos to aid you with the salt cod preparation process here:  Preparing Salt Cod.   There is hot debate about whether this dish should have potatoes added, or whether it should just be made with cream and olive oil and blended to a creamy and silky dip – I prefer the potato version, and here I have developed my own recipe which is more of a gratin then a dip, and can be served as a main meal, as well as a starter with deep-fried croutons, toast or baguette. This is also a dish that the children will enjoy too; this dish has been served many times to guests and friends, and their children, and children just love the creamy mashed potato and mild fishy flavours……..so, a lovely supper dish to serve to all the family.

Serve as a family supper with salad and crusty bread

So, why not make this Friday the 13th a lucky day and make this for a FABULOUS family fishy supper? If you cannot obtain salt cod, then this recipe is wonderful when made with normal fresh fish such as cooked coley, haddock, cod or even a tin of salmon or tuna. I will be back later with another classic recipe, but from Scotland this time……..in the meantime, have a wonderful Friday and DON’T walk under any ladders or spill any salt! See you later, Karen.

Brandade de Morue au Gratin

 

Brandade de Morue – Salt Cod, Garlic & Potato Gratin

Serves 2 to 4
Prep time 48 hours
Cook time 45 minutes
Total time 48 hours, 45 minutes
Allergy Fish, Milk
Meal type Appetizer, Lunch, Main Dish, Side Dish, Snack, Starter
Misc Child Friendly, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold, Serve Hot
Occasion Casual Party
Region French
By author Karen S Burns-Booth
This classic salt cod dish is a specialty of the city of Nîmes in the Languedoc region in the south of France. There is hot debate about whether this dish should have potatoes added, or whether it should just be made with cream and olive oil and blended to a creamy and silky dip - I prefer the potato version, and here I have developed my own recipe which is more of a gratin then a dip, and can be served as a main meal, as well as a starter with deep fried croutons, toast or baguette.

Ingredients

  • 750g prepared and desalinated salt cod
  • bay leaf
  • sprig of fresh thyme
  • 6 cloves garlic (peeled and pounded to a purée in a pestle and mortar)
  • large handful of fresh parsley (leaves stripped from the stems and chopped finely)
  • 450g potatoes
  • 50ml hot milk
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • salt and white pepper
  • 150ml olive oil
  • breadcrumbs (fresh breadcrumbs are best or Panko crumbs)

Note

This classic salt cod dish is a specialty of the city of Nîmes in the Languedoc region in the south of France. There is hot debate about whether this dish should have potatoes added, or whether it should just be made with cream and olive oil and blended to a creamy, smooth and silky dip - I prefer the potato version, and here I have developed my own recipe which is more of a gratin then a dip, and can be served as a main meal for two people, as well as a starter with deep fried croutons, toast or baguette for four or more people.

Directions

Step 1 Prepare the cod at least 24 hours beforehand. Soak it in water for 24 to 48 hours, changing the water twice daily. Then in a large saucepan, add the soaked cod, bay leaf and thyme sprig, cover them with water and bring to a simmer. Simmer gently for about 5 minutes or until the cod is tender, do NOT simmer too long as the cod will become chewy. Remove the cod, drain and allow to cool, then remove all skin and bones, and gently flake the flesh into a bowl.
Step 2 Peel and cut the potatoes into small chunks before boiling until soft and tender. Drain and then add the hot milk and mash or rather crush the potatoes roughly, so there are still some discernible pieces of potato as well as mash. Add the salt and pepper and season to taste; then add the olive oil and beat well into the potatoes mixture.
Step 3 Add the parsley, lemon juice and minced garlic to the potatoes and mix thoroughly before gently folding in the salt cod.
Step 4 Spoon the mixture into a large oiled tian or oven-proof dish, then scatter some bread crumbs over the top and bake in a pre-heated oven 200C/400F for 15 to 20 minutes or until the brandade is bubbling and the breadcrumbs are golden brown and crunchy.
Step 5 Serve hot with salad and crusty bread for a main meal, or serve as an appetiser with deep fried croutons, toast or slices of baguette.

 

My take on Brandade de Morue using Scottish Salt Cod served as a main meal and gratin style

Disclaimer: With thanks to John at Delish Fish for sending me some fresh salt cod to try.

Comments

  1. says

    I know so many people hate Friday the 13th, but I actually have never had a reason to worry. Nothing bad has ever happened to me on the 13th & so today is a good day ;) And this is a beautiful dish – I love the crusty breading over top of the fish. It’s simple but so comforting…

  2. says

    This looks lovely – that crumb topping looks perfect. I agree with you, I prefer it with potatoes and that’s the way I make it. Adding potatoes can lead to a few disapproving looks, though.

  3. Denise says

    Salt cod is not something I can say I have ever bought but the italians and Greeks seem to have it a lot. I do like your suggestions for the alternative right down to a can of tuna. Sounds good to me.

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