Friday, January 25, 2013

Salt Cod Pate

Blog's Category: My Own Fast and Easy, My Successes,

Salt Cod Pate

Intro
I finally got my hands on a salted cod which was sitting in a fridge for a couple of months already. 
Heavily preserved with salt (it's really, really s-a-l-t-e-d), it can lasts actually much longer. Indeed, if I would be the bacteria I could not survive in THAT amount of salt incrusted into cod's flash there  :) .
I come across "Brandade de Morue" recipe in my French cuisine cook book. It's essentially pate made of salted code with olive oil and milk or cream. What happens rarely - I followed the recipe word to word and was very pleased with results. 
Another story was to decide what to pair this pate with and I think I've found some good combination of pate and "whatever" - check it out below. My final words on Brandade de Morue: it's very decadent and delicious (for me), but not so much for everybody. I guess it is that kind of food people either love or hate.

Variations
- There is not so much variation to the dish - some recipes call for milk instead of cream, some suggest to put more/less olive oil, more/less garlic but overall it's pretty "stable" list of ingredients here.


Taste Description
First what strikes your buds is fishy taste. But it's not "bad-fishy", it's "good-fishy", reminding me dried fish often eaten as snack in Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, China or Japan. Dried fish snacks are not known here, in US, and may sound weird for regular american (he-he :)) Anyway, if you happen to like this flavor - you will love this pate. Although fish taste is very subtle in this pate, softened and enriched by cream and olive oil and driven in another direction by powerful garlicky notes.
Texture is whole another story - it's very "meaty" although smooth. Toasting or broiling makes different kind of transformation - pate becomes stringy-crusty on a top and juicy and tasteful on a bottom (this is my favorite way to eat it so far).

How to Serve
It can be served in a million ways - spread on top of bread or polenta, toasted/broiled or "as is", inside of pie crust or on top of rice/potato/pasta (and then broiled), mixed in mashed potato for croquets and so on. From here, list can go on and on - let your
creativity go wild here :).



Salt Cod Pate (Brandade de Morue)

  • 1/2 file of salted cod (baccala, bacalao)
  • 1 cup of cream
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
- Wash off salt from a cod fillet and soak it for at least 24 hours in a pot with cold water. Keep it in a fridge and change water couple time during this 24 hour period.

- Place cod in a pot with fresh cold water and, on a high heat, bring it to a boil. Take off the heat immediately and set aside for 10-15 minutes.

- Fish out cod to a plate and flake it with a fork.

- Place flaked cod, garlic and 1/3 of olive oil in a food processor and process taking turns with adding remaining olive oil and cream. It should take a minute or two. Adjust pate by adding more cream or olive oil.

- Add some freshly ground black pepper and you've done - you have delicious pate you can use in various ways (see suggestions below)!

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IN PICTURES











Toast giabatta bread slices, then rub 'em generously with garlic, spread your pate and serve with marinated pepper on a side. It will make great appetizer course (see picture below).


..or just place piece of marinated pepper right on top

Or sneak some buttery carrot puree underneath..

Or mix your sauteed cabbage melange leftovers with some cooked rice, drop brandade on a top and place in a toaster-oven for about 10-15 minutes to heat and brown up on a top. I had a perfect breakfast this way (below) :)


It was pretty tasty with my tomato sauce I was making for fried wontons couple days ago. It was my lunch -yum-m..

I also tried brandade (pate) with caramelized onions, leftovers from my wontons too :)

Toasting  Brandade de Morue gives you this awesome thready crunch on a top and makes pate juicier and more delicious.

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