Brandade de Morue
Updated: Jan 3
Salted Cod Dip
This famous local recipe was developed in Nimes, a land locked former Roman colony, probably sometime in the 18th century.
At some stage sailors traveling back and forth around the coastal waters discovered a beautiful firm white fish from the Atlantic coast - Cod. They were able to preserve it for weeks at a time and bring it back to Nimes with them by smothering it in a thick layer of salt - which essentially dries and preserves the fish, allowing it to last months without refrigeration.
In order to eat the fish after it's been salted, it must be desalinated by soaking it in a cold water bath for a minimum of 12 hours or over a couple of days, changing the water out 3 times. After that the texture of the fish is less light and flacky than if it were fresh and screams for butter and cream - which is a great accompaniment to the salty flavor.
This recipe is for 4-6 persons.
Here is what you will need:
500 gr or 1 lb of salted cod fish, desalinated.
Note on the salted cod filet - if you can’t find this then you could always buy fresh cod and bury it in kosher salt. Leaving it in the fridge for 4-7 days.
To desalinize the fish submerge It in a bowl of cold water, covering by a few inches and soak for a minimum of 12 hours - changing the water 3 times, and soaking for 4 hours each time.
2 medium sized Russet Potatoes, baked.
1 head of raw garlic, roasted.
4 Tbs good quality extra virgin olive oil.
2 Tbs unsalted butter.
1/2 Cup crème Fraîche
1/4 Cup whole milk
Some coarse ground black pepper and fresh parsley to taste.
Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.
Place your potatoes in the oven to bake for 35-45 minutes, until soft and thouroughly cooked.
Prepare the roasted garlic - cut an entire head of garlic in half, right through the middle of the bulbs, leaving the skin on. place the 2 sides of garlic face down in an ovenproof baking dish with a drizzle of sunflower oil, and roast for 35 minutes in the oven or until soft and lightly browned.
Once the fish is desalinized, pat it dry well. Bake it in the oven with a couple of teaspoons of butter on top at 375 for 10 minutes. You can do this once the potatoes and garlic are done.
Once your potatoes have cooled slightly remove the skins and shave them or grate them with a mandelin. This retains a lighter texture than mashing does.
Once you've got your cooked fish, potatoes and roasted garlic ready add all of the ingredients into a food processor or a bowl if using an imulsion mixer - or you can also use a fork and knife. Everything should all be mashed together well into a paste. Turn this out into an oven proof terrine dish and bake again for 10 minutes in the oven on 375 f. until golden brown on top. Finish with fresh ground pepper and serve immediately with some chopped fresh parsley if you like.
Serve on top of crusty French bread.