from The Quick Recipe
by The Editors of Cook’s Illustrated
(Boston Common Press, 2003)
It’s believed that brandade, or cod and potato purée, originated in the town of Nîmes, France. Traditionally it’s made with dry, salted cod. This lighter, more delicate version is perfect with garlic toasts and a leafy salad.—The Editors of Cook’s Illustrated
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk
4 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 4 teaspoons)
2 bay leaves
4 sprigs fresh thyme
3 anchovy fillets, minced fine
Salt and ground black pepper
1 pound cod, skinned and cut into 5 by 2-inch pieces
1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
4 tablespoons minced fresh chives
For the garlic toasts
8 slices rustic bread, each about 1/2-inch thick
1 medium garlic clove, peeled
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Make the brandade
1. Stir the cream, milk, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, anchovies, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan until the salt dissolves. Add the cod and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to simmer until the fish flakes apart easily, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fish to a bowl and reserve.
2. Add the potatoes to the cream mixture and bring the liquid to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook, stirring often, until the potatoes are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and discard the bay leaves and thyme. Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes and the cream mixture until smooth.
3. Gently fold 3 tablespoons chives and the reserved cod into the potatoes, trying to keep the flakes of cod intact. Adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl and sprinkle with the remaining I tablespoon chives. Serve immediately with the garlic toasts.
Make the garlic toasts
1. Meanwhile adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Arrange the bread in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake until dry and crisp, about 10 minutes, turning the slices over halfway through baking.
2. While still hot, rub each slice of bread with the raw garlic clove and drizzle with the olive oil. Serve hot or warm.
Recipe © 2003 Cook’s Illustrated. All rights reserved.