Cod Brandade

My chef friend Jeremy likes to add his own twist to classic dishes, like this cod brandade. Instead of buying salted cod, he gives fresh fish a quick cure, which lets him infuse the cod with the citrusy flavors of my Escabeche blend. I only wish that you could have Jeremy in your kitchen when you prepare this recipe; he’d show you the real meaning of the “joy of cooking.”

Escabeche N.25 – Recipe by Jeremy Flowers, from “The Art of Blending” by Lior Lev Sercarz

Makes 10 appetizer servings

Ingredients

One     12-ounce skinless cod fillet, pin bones removed
¼        cup Escabeche N.25 spice blend
2          tablespoons kosher salt
½        pound Yukon Gold potatoes
3          garlic cloves plus 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1           cup dry white wine
3          cups water
1          cup coarsely chopped onion
6          thyme sprigs
1          teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 1 lemon, halved
2          teaspoons chopped parsley
2          teaspoons chopped chives
¼        cup extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper

Toasted baguette slices, for serving

Instructions

1. In a bowl, mix ¼ cup Escabeche spice blend and 2 tablespoons salt. Set aside 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon of this mixture. Spread the remaining mixture all over both sides of the fish, place the fish in a non-reactive metal tray or glass baking pan and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 5 hours.

2. In a saucepan, cover the potatoes, garlic cloves and 1 tablespoon of the reserved Escabeche/salt with water by one inch. Bring to boil, lower the heat to medium and cook until the potatoes are tender. Drain, reserving the garlic, and peel the potatoes. In a bowl, mash the potato and garlic together with a fork.

3. Place wine, 3 cups water, onion, chopped garlic, thyme, halved lemon and 1 tablespoon of the Escabeche/salt mixture in a pot large enough to hold the fish. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Rinse the cured cod. Bring the poaching liquid to a boil, add the fish, turn off the heat and let cook for 5 minutes.

4. Remove the fish from the poaching liquid and add to the potatoes. Flake the fish apart with a fork and stir into the potatoes. Stir in the lemon zest, parsley, chives and remaining 1 teaspoon of Escabeche/salt mixture. Stir in the olive oil and season to taste with pepper. Spoon the brandade over the toasts and serve.