This recipe is inspired by the French dish brandade de morue. The first (and only) time I ever had brandade de morue was in Paris a few summers ago. The menu was only in French, and the waiter was none too pleased about having to wait on us uncouth, non-French-speaking foreigners. He sped through the items on the menu in a deliberately thick accent and left.
I settled on this dish because I recognized the word for cod (“morue”) but didn’t know anything more about the dish I was ordering. Making it twice as appealing was that it was an appetizer and I was trying to not pay an arm and a leg for the meal.
Well, the plate arrived and it was delicious. Even after finishing it, I couldn’t exactly tell what I’d just had so I looked it up. Brandade de morue is salt cod blended with potatoes, milk and olive oil and served au gratin.
The recipe I found called for the salt cod to be refrigerated and soaked for a day and you had to keep changing the water. Aside from the laziness factor, I didn’t know where to get salt cod so I decided to give it a try with fresh cod. As you can see in the picture above, using salt cod yields a dry dish where you get the texture of individual stringy flakes of dried cod.
Using fresh or frozen cod changes the texture of the dish, making it more like mashed potatoes. This is why I omit the olive oil found in the original dish.
Whipped Cod with Potato
By: Mia Cee || Resting Hungry Face
2 fillets of any firm white fish (frozen OK)
same weight as fish of potatoes or sweet potatoes
1/2 cup unsweetened, full fat coconut milk
4 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt; more to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper; more to taste
optional: 1/8 teaspoon cayenne powder; more or less to taste
optional: 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast or vegan parmesan
1. Heat oven to 450 degrees with a rack 6 inches from the heat source.
1. Boil the potatoes for 30 minutes or until fork tender. Drain and cool.
2. Simmer the fish and garlic in the coconut milk for 4 minutes (longer if your fish is frozen). Flip and simmer for another 4 minutes. Remove from heat when the fish is opaque and flakes easily when poked. Set aside and cool.
3. Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, puree in a food processor until smooth. They’re good when your food processor starts rocking on the counter.
4. Add the fish and garlic to the potatoes and puree until smooth.
5. Add the lemon juice, salt and black pepper. Process 10 more seconds. Taste and adjust with more salt or pepper if desired.
6. Sprinkle the top with nutritional yeast or vegan Parmesan. Bake for 20 minutes.
7. Put your oven on broil and move your dish to the top rack so it’s right under the heat source. Broil for 15 minutes or until the top is a nice golden brown with the oven door slightly ajar.
** Don’t overfill the food processor unless you want fish and potato in hard-to-clean places! If you have a smaller food processor, you’ll want to puree in two batches.
** For my fellow lazies: As all the ingredients are already cooked by the time you start pureeing, it can be served without baking. Baking just warms the dish and broiling provides the nice golden crust on top.
** You can add the caynenne pepper in with the salt and pepper, but it will change the color of the dish. (If you’re using sweet potatoes, this isn’t a big deal.) I usually sprinkle it on top when it comes out of the oven.
** Don’t toss the coconut milk! How does garlic-infused coconut fish broth sound? Because that’s what you have and it’s DELICIOUS.