A search for inspiring winter food

Cut out the specialist, and try home salting your fish, recommends Dr Chris Duckham

During the winter months it can be difficult to think of new dishes for the restaurant. But with a spate of quiet on-call evenings and weekends, I have had a chance to work on some ideas.

It took several weekends to perfect this Brandade of cod. I would recommend having a go at salting it yourself. Be sure to obtain the freshest cod from your fishmonger as this makes all the difference to the final product.

Brandade of home salted cod
Start three days in advance 

Ingredients

For four people
400g cod fillet, skinned
300ml milk
200g charlotte potatoes, peeled and halved
50ml olive oil
1 clove of garlic, peeled
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

 

1 Prepare the cod. Rub the cod on both sides with sea salt and place in the fridge on a tray, uncovered, for 48 hours.

2 After two days remove it from the fridge and rinse
thoroughly in several changes of water. Soak in milk for a further 24 hours.

3 Drain the milk and place the cod fillets in a large saucepan. Cover with water and add the peeled garlic clove. Bring to the boil and simmer for around 12 minutes until the cod is completely cooked and a little flaky. Drain.

4 In a separate saucepan cook the potatoes in salted water until tender. Drain.

5 Blend the cooked potatoes, cooked cod, garlic and potatoes in a food processor until smooth and creamy. Then season.

6 At the moment we are serving this at the restaurant as an appetiser on toasted brioche with a light Cullen skink sauce.

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