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Smoked Whitefish Brandade

This French dish is usually made with salt cod, but sablefish (also sold as black cod) is a much more environmentally sustainable choice. You often can find smoked sablefish in Jewish delis, and many upscale grocery stores carry it as well. Because the sablefish is smoked and then cooked again, its final texture ends up resembling that of reconstituted salt cod.–Barton Seaver

LC What We Really Mean By 'Whitefish' Note

While it’s true that sablefish is an inspired ingredient in this brandade, bringing a rich smokiness to the garlicky potato purée, just about any salted or smoked fish with a whitish cast will work. We’ve also taken this recipe for a whirl with the traditional salt cod as well as with smoked herring–though not together–and not had any regrets. None at all. Set it out to enjoy at breakfast, lunch, dinner, supper, or as a midnight snack.

Smoked Whitefish Brandade Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 35 M
  • Serves 4 as a canapé or light appetizer

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces smoked sablefish or black cod (or reconstituted salt cod)
  • 1/2 pound russet potato, peeled and diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for toasting and drizzling
  • 1 baguette, sliced 1 inch thick
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs, such as chives and tarragon (optional)

Directions

  • 1. Combine the fish, potato, and garlic in a small saucepan and add just enough water to barely cover. Bring to a simmer and cook until the potato is soft and beginning to fall apart, about 12 minutes. Drain, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.
  • 2. Transfer the potato, fish, and garlic to a medium bowl and begin to mash it with a whisk. Add the olive oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly to incorporate it, then whisk in about 3 tablespoons of the cooking liquid. The purée should have the consistency of peanut butter. (The brandade will keep for several days, tightly covered, in the refrigerator.)
  • 3. Brush the bread slices with a little oil and toast under the broiler or in a toaster oven until golden brown. Serve the brandade in a bowl, topped with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of herbs, if desired. Pass the toasted bread alongside.
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