Cod: Salt and Fresh

February 1st, 2019 § 0 comments

Salt cod is an HG/BSK favorite. It is a historically important food as it provided non-perishable nourishment and protein for crews in the early days of global exploration. Salt cod (“Baccala” or “Bacalhao”) is used by home cooks throughout Italy, Spain, and other Mediterranean and Carribean countries. HG believes salt cod becomes most glorious in France in the form of Brandade. Born in the Provencal region, it is a garlic laden, creamy, fishy delight best consumed outdoors on a sunny day with a crusty baguette and an ice cold bottle of Provence rose’ wine. Simple dish. A blend of salt cod (salinity banished by long soaking and frequent changes of cold water) cooked gently in milk and water with bay leaves and thyme; boiled potatoes; lots of garlic cooked in abundant olive oil until lightly browned. With the herbs removed, everything goes into a food processor (might have to do it in two batches). Taste after the first whisking to see if more olive oil or hot milk is needed. Process to your taste: Creamy mashed potatoes texture or chunky. Eat as is or get a little fancy and spread it in a baking dish. Top with grated gruyere, a dusting of bread crumbs and a few swirls of creme fraiche. Run it under the broiler to melt the cheese and brown the bread crumbs (be careful, don’t let it burn). Give it a sprinkle of cayenne and lemon zest. You can also make Brandade with poached fresh cod. HG/BSK often do it this way when resident at their summer paradise on Prince Edward Island. Source for very fresh Atlantic cod is the By the Bay fish Mart in the town of St. Peters. During visits to Barcelona, HG/BSK enjoyed savory stews made with fresh cod. Last night, BSK recalled the great Catalan city and made a stew of cod, fish stock, onions, garlic, capers, Kumatoes, olive oil and fiery Spanish paprika (pimenton). Solace on a wintry night.

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