Brandade Cakes with Caramelized Peppers and Tomatoes
- For the brandade cakes
- 1 pound 5 ounces salt cod, desalted and cut into large pieces*
- 2 large potatoes, sliced
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 3 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1/4 cup cream
- 1/2 teaspoon espelette pepper or hot paprika
- Handful chopped fresh parsley leaves
- Handful chopped fresh chives
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Peanut or grapeseed oil, for frying
- Flour or panko (Japanese) bread crumbs, for dredging
- * Cook's Note: Cut the cod into pieces and soak for 2 days in cold water; changing the water often. Drain.
For the peppers:
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Seed the peppers and cut into thin fingers. Toss with the tomatoes, garlic, salt, and pepper, and spread on a baking dish. Pour over the olive oil and bake the peppers to confit, about 3 hours, and set aside.
For the cakes:
Put the cod, potatoes, and garlic in a pot. Tie the bay leaf, thyme sprig, and parsley stems with string, and add. Cover, just, with cold water, and bring to a bare simmer. Poach until the potatoes and cod are tender, about 15 minutes. Drain.
Discard the herbs. Separate the cod from the potatoes. In a mixing bowl, mash the potatoes with the cream. In a separate bowl, shred the cod finely. Then combine the two again, mixing until creamy. Stir through the espelette pepper and the chopped parsley and chives. Check the seasonings.
Pour an inch of cooking oil into a skillet and heat until sizzling. Shape the cod and potato mixture into 20 small cakes. Just before frying, dip them in the flour or panko bread crumbs to coat. Fry on both sides until very brown, and crisp. Drain on the paper towels to absorb the excess oil.
For the plate:
Top a brandade cake with a few caramelized peppers and tomatoes. Enjoy!