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