Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

August 18, 2017
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Salt cod and potato spread (Atascaburras)

This dish recalls the classic French dish known as brandade, but made without milk. Here, it is served in a bowl and garnished with chopped walnuts and hard-boiled eggs, with bread alongside.

1 lb. (500 g) salt cod fillet

2 russet potatoes, about 1 lb. (500 g) total

1 c. (250 ml) olive oil

1 tbsp. (15 ml) garlic, finely minced

½ c. (125 ml) fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

2 tsp. (10 ml) fresh lemon juice

pinch of freshly ground black pepper

1 c. (250 ml) walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped

3 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped

12 slices country bread, toasted or grilled, for serving

Place the cod in a bowl with cold water to cover and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours (the thicker the piece, the longer it will take), changing the water 3 or 4 times.

Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Pierce the potatoes in a few places, place in the oven and bake until tender, 1 hour. Afterwards remove from the oven, let cool slightly and then peel and pass the warm potato pulp through a ricer into a bowl, or mash in a bowl with a fork.

While the potatoes are baking, drain the cod. In a saucepan, combine the cod with water to cover, bring to a gentle simmer over low heat and cook until quite tender when pierced with a fork, 10 to 18 minutes. Remove from the heat and drain well, reserving 1 cup (250 ml) of the cooking water. Let the cod cool until it can be handled and then break it up with your fingers, discarding any bones, skin or tough pieces. Set aside.

In a small saucepan, heat the oil until hot and then remove from the heat.

Put the salt cod in a food processor and process until almost a puree. Add the garlic, hot oil and enough of the fish cooking water to make a smooth mixture. Fold in the mashed potatoes with a few quick pulses. Do not over process or the mixture will become gummy. (You can also use a bowl with a wooden spoon or an immersion blender.) If the mixture is too stiff, whisk in a little more oil or fish cooking water. It needs to be spreadable. Mix in the parsley, lemon juice and pepper.

Mound the mixture on a serving platter or in a wide bowl and garnish with the walnuts and eggs. Accompany with bread. Serves 8 to 10.

Spanish wine: Godello (Valdeorras), Viura/blend (Rioja, Catalonia)

Non-Spanish wine: dry Chenin Blanc (France, South Africa), Alvarinho (Portugal)

This article was accurate when it was published. Please confirm rates and details directly with the companies in question.

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