Salt Cod Gratin Brandade de Morue a Recipe from Provence
This salt cod gratin Brandade de Morue, a common Provençal dish, is a great way to showcase simple ingredients like fish and potatoes. It’s one of my favorite comfort dishes when I am in Provence. I like to serve this dish in individual ramekins because it is a great way to keep this meal hot and this presentation is elegant yet French country-style.
Brandade de Morue
- 2 lbs Salt Cod boneless and skinless
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 10 Thyme sprigs save 8 sprigs for garnish
- 12 Peppercorns
- 10 Garlic Cloves peeled
- 4 Allspice Berries
- 3 Cloves
- 2 lbs Potatoes peeled and cut in cubes
- 2/3 cup EVOO extra virgin olive oil
- pinch of Cayenne Pepper
- 1 tsp Nutmeg grated
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs or coarse breadcrumbs
- 1 cup Crème fraiche
- 2 Lemons zested and cut in quarters for step two
- 6 tbsp Unsalted Butter
- to taste Salt
- to taste Pepper
- Rinse salt cod and soak in 4 quarts of cold water overnight and then dry the cod.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200C).
- Heat the milk in a double boiler and add thyme from 2 sprigs, bay leaf, cloves, peppercorns, allspice berries and lemons (but first zest the lemons and set aside for later).
- Poach the fish gently in the milk and spice liquid for 15 minutes and set aside to cool.
- In a second pot, cover potatoes with cold water and bring to a boil.
- Add garlic cloves and 2 teaspoons salt.
- Drain potatoes when they are soft, approx. 25 minutes.
- Now, put the garlic in a small saucepan, crush it and add olive oil. Heat the garlic briefly (3 minutes) until it is infused in oil.
- Put the cooked potatoes in a bowl. Flake the cooked cod on top in the same bowl. Using a potato masher, roughly blend the potatoes and the fish.
- Add the warm garlic oil and mash the mixture again.
- Now, add the nutmeg, cayenne pepper and the lemon zest previously set aside.
- Next, add the crème fraiche and 1 cup of hot cooking liquid from boiling the potatoes and mix all the ingredients.
- Taste and adjust seasoning, add salt and pepper as needed.
- Use 2 tablespoons of butter to grease a 2 quart baking dish.
- Add the fish-potato-spice mixture to a casserole (or single ramekins), sprinkle with breadcrumbs and put the remaining butter in small pieces on top.
- Bake until golden and bubbling, about 20 minutes.
- Then broil the tops for 2 minutes until golden brown.
- Garnish with fresh thyme.
diameter x .75 inch deep) which is a more elegant but still rustic presentation!