Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Recipe from Andy Jones: Salt Cod Valentine

Salt Cod Valentine
(Brandade De Morue Avec Twist Terre Neuvienne)
(A Xmas Pâté for Celia)
Preparation Time: 70 minutes
Start to Finish Time: 13 hours
Yield: about 3 cups

1 pound center-cut salt cod (the thickest part of the fillet)
1 medium baking potato (6 ounces)
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium White Onion, minced
1 cup heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice, to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus several whole sprigs for garnish
pinch of Newfoundland Savoury
1 loaf bread, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices and toasted
1/2 cup white wine
Soak salt cod in cold water in the refrigerator 12 hours, changing the water three times.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Bake potato until tender, about 50 to 60 minutes.

While the potato is cooking, drain and rinse salt cod, then place in a medium pot covered with cold salted water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer until fish is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool in liquid. As soon as the potato is done, split it in half, scoop out the steaming flesh, and pass through a sieve or a ricer.
Heat olive oil in a small saucepan over moderate heat. Add garlic and white onion; cook until soft, then add cream and simmer 7 minutes. Stir in the white wine during these seven minutes. Remove from heat. Drain cod and pat dry. Remove the skin and bones, then pulse a few times in food processor to break into coarse pieces. With the machine running, add the garlic-cream mixture in a steady stream. Transfer to a medium bowl, add the potato and a pinch of Newfoundland savoury, and stir until everything is mixed well. Season with salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Add more salt and/or lemon juice if necessary.

If not using the salt cod Valentine immediately, cover and refrigerate. (It will keep for up to a week.)
To serve, place in a large iron pan and warm over medium heat, stirring constantly, until heated through. Stir in parsley, spoon into a serving bowl, and serve surrounded by toasts. Garnish with a few olives.

Uncle Val is the creation of Andy Jones, the author and performer of Letters from Uncle Val.