Brandade, or poached salt cod made into a fluffy sort of paste with olive oil and milk (and sometimes potatoes), dates back to the early nineteenth century, but this is chef Thomas Keller‘s updated take on the classic. The rich cod mixture is battered and deep-fried for a creamy-crisp bite, served over tomato confit and garnished with pungent fried sage. For an easier version, you can spread the brandade in a baking dish and sprinkle with panko before baking it and serving with toasted baguette, with the tomato confit and fried sage on the side for topping each round. If you want to try a main course from the chef, get Thomas Keller’s Skirt Steak with Caramelized Shallots and Red Wine Jus recipe.
Note: You can use eight ounces of prepared salt cod for this recipe if you prefer not to prepare your own; in that case, skip ahead to the rehydrating step. You can find Chef Keller’s recipes for tomato confit and garlic confit in the cookbook, but if you don’t have access to it and you want to make this now, try our Tomato Confit recipe, and Phyllis Grant’s Garlic Confit recipe. Choose a light lager for the batter; you don’t want a heavy beer to impart much flavor, mostly just its lively carbonation for an airy, crisp crunch.
To make the brandade:
To make the batter:
To make the fritters:
Excerpted from Bouchon by Thomas Keller (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2004. Photographs by Deborah Jones.