Fresh Cod Brandade
French, Spanish, and Portuguese cooks work wonders with pungent salt cod, or cod that has been cured in salt. The process galvanizes the fish’s otherwise mild flavor and the results taste quite strong—strong enough that the fish is typically “cut” with milder ingredients. A classic example is brandade, which whips the fish with milk, mashed potatoes, and garlic.
Why This Recipe Works
Brandade recipes largely proceed in a similar fashion: the soaked salt cod is cooked in milk or cream and flavorings, then whipped with potatoes that have been cooked separately. Looking to master the method first, we found classic approaches a bit fussy—why not cook everything in just one pot? We experimented a bit with a quicker brandade recipe and eventually found that we could poach the fish in the milk, then carefully remove it and cook the potatoes (Yukon Golds, cut into small pieces) in the now–highly flavored milk. The fish cooked through in just three minutes or so; the potatoes took about 15 minutes before they were done.