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May 24, 2013 09:53 PM

Brandade de morue/salt cod puree simplification possible?

Julia Child's recipe is great, and LABORIOUS. I'm wondering if, through use of a food processor and/or immersion blender to puree the fish and mixture of fish, potato, etc., it could be easier to execute? So, does anyone have such an easy Brandade recipe? If not, could you help me create one? TIA!

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  1. I prefer much more texture. I whip the potatoes, but shred and mix the cod in with a fork.

    1. Sounds like Jacques Pepin is just the guy you're looking for! You'll find his recipe here:

      8 Replies
      1. re: Caroline1

        Thanks very much for the recipe. It will be interesting to see if it produces the heavenly smooth puree without cod strings like we had in Paris. I will report back.

        1. re: Joebob

          One of the secrets is... Never let the cod reach a hard boil! Just simmer very gently or it will become really tough and you'll never get it to puree, even with a blender! For super smooth texture you can always push the brandade through a fine mesh sieve with a rubber spatula. If that doesn't give you smooth, nothing will! Good luck!

          Oh, and you don't have to bake the brandade if you just want to use it as a dip, but JP likes the color that the baking adds. But he serves it in the big flat dish he bakes it in.

          1. re: Caroline1

            After reading the J. Pepin recipe, which says to boil the cod, I decided to do it Julia's way with processing instead of using a mixer. I used an instant-read thermometer to make sure the simmering temp. did not exceed 190F that Julia recommends. It came out great; smooth and creamy, not at all stringy. A friend in Sweden who can get fresh Atlantic cod wonders if it could be made with fresh cod. Any opinions?

            1. re: Joebob

              It won't taste right. Salting transforms the cod and the end product is different even if you spend the time desalting the fish.

              1. re: Joebob

                The Julia recipe sounds fantastic - how did it smell? The one time I soaked salt cod and made brandade there was a lingering hint of what we call "corpse whiff" (that you also get with authentic country ham) and neither of us could eat it...

                1. re: HillsofBeverly

                  We covered that up with just enough garlic (lots).

                  1. re: HillsofBeverly

                    oh yes -- when you pass the seafood department in French grocery stores (they sell the morue in giant hard chunks) it's enough to take your breath away.

                    (Morue, by the way, is the word for salt cod -- bacalao in Spanish -- if it's fresh cod, it's called cabillaud)

                  2. re: Joebob

                    Yes, you can make it with fresh cod, you just need to salt it for 2 days in advance. Make a superior version. Here's Chez Panisse's version: