This classical French can be found everywhere, at most fishmongers, market and is still an iconic bistro fare.
It is an ordinary dish, very familiar as a meat pie or fish and chips in Australia.
It is served as a lunch or dinner but as well as an appetizer dip.
A beautiful fillet of salt cod about 800g (I like to buy the one with skin and bones as it keeps the savour to the flesh)
100ml heavy cream
3 garlic cloves peeled and crushed
200ml Olive oil
2 bay leaves
1 bouquet garni
For tender salt cold, the only way is to not overcook it and keep the heat low, at just under a simmer ; rapid boiling will kill the tenderness in the cod and it will be dry.
- The day before, give the fish a good rinse then soak it in a big bowl of water, cover completely the cod, changing water every 2 to 3 hours.
- The next morning the cod is ready to be cooked.
- Drain the cod and transfer to a saucepan with cold water, the bay leaves, thyme and 10 whole pepper, then bring to a gently boil.
- Simmer over very low heat for 10 minutes.
- Once cooked, drain the cod and peel of the skin if any and with carefull attention take off the bones.
- Still warm, flake the fish (break into small pieces) and set aside.
- Gently simmer half of the olive oil ( I add a bouquet garni to the oil, so the perfume oil infuses the fish, deliciously).
- Lightly, heat the cream (optional).
- In a saucepan, on very low heat poor half of olive oil for 3 minutes.
- Add the fish.
- Pour the other half olive oil, several tablespoonfuls at a time until the cod has incorporated all the oil.
- Add the lightly heated cream and the smashed garlic and still on very low heat, whisk it until the cod has absorbed the cream.
- All the ingredients should, ideally, be at the same temperature
- Add a lot of pepper.
Serve the brandade lukewarm or cold, with toasted bread.
You can replace the cream for warm milk.
This silky cod cream can be kept in the fridge for 4/5 days.
Some heretics cooks add mashed potatoes , add the cooked potatoes puree to the cod before adding the cream and combine until just incorporated. Do not over mix.