This is the longest I have ever gone without posting something here. And, you know, the longer the dry spell is the less inclined you feel to post something. You start thinking, “Well it’s been this long anyway…” but then you remember the collection of photos you have, the fact that this is a hobby and not a chore, and how much enjoyment it brings that makes it all worthwhile. The blogging bug returns and you get the itch once again.
I also feel a bit of pressure to get my act together as I started the year with fifty of these recipe cards to get through, and I fear I have skipped a couple of weeks already which leaves no room for being lazy henceforth. But as always, there is a bit of a funny story to tell. This recipe card asks for smoked trout to be used in place of the more common smoked cod. “This French technique, customarily used on salted cod, works wonderfully with the moist flesh of hot-smoked trout, turning it into a perfect picnic starter with some crusty bread.”
I went looking for smoked trout but ended up bringing home smoked cod instead, so just as well that the two can be interchanged. If it is at all possible to buy either of these already skinned then I would highly recommend it, as pulling the skin off proved rather slippery work. I expected it to be like skinning a raw fillet of salmon but the skin was adhered to the smoked flesh much, much more so. This resulted in some wastage of the fish meat.
Wikipedia describes brandade as “an emulsion of salt cod and olive oil”. Avoid this recipe if you’re not keen on fish as it does have a pronounced fishiness but is mildly tempered by the addition of lemon juice, lemon zest and chives. A smooth-ish texture is produced but there’s still a fair bit of springy bite retained. I enjoyed it on top of water crackers.
Smoked Cod Brandade (serves 2)
(adapted from The Age – Epicure 50 Best Recipe Cards, recipe by Jill Dupleix)
· 1mL milk
· 1 garlic cloved, smashed
· 200g smoked cod fillet, skin removed
· 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
· 1 tbs chives, finely snipped
· ½ tsp finely grated lemon zest
· lemon juice, to taste
- Heat milk gently with garlic until just under the boil. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes before straining to remove the garlic and any milk skin which has formed.
- In the meantime, finely shred the smoked cod using a couple of forks. Gradually add the milk mixture to the trout whilst beating vigorously. Then beat in olive oil until the consistency is almost fluffy.
- Mix in chives, lemon zest and lemon juice. Add ground black pepper to taste. Serve with crusty bread, water crackers, lavosh or melba toasts.