How far in advance can I make a brandade de morue?

Jim Traub


amysarah December 31, 2015
We had a small NYE gathering for years, and I always did brandade - great with dry sparkling wine! My basic recipe was Patricia Wells', run under the broiler to gratinee - delicious. I agree it's best to make it the same day, but I've made it a day ahead (gratineed just before serving) and it was still wonderful.
Regine December 31, 2015
Addendum to prior comment. This is the one that I use and remains delicious several days after it has been made. I think I got it from the Washington Post. But I can't remember.
I let fish soak 24 hours but since it still had some salt I never added any extra salt and it was perfect. Maybe next time soak for 2 days instead. Also I did not need the poaching water.

Baccalà Mantecato: A Savory Spread of Whipped Salt Cod

1 pound boneless baccalà (salt cod), soaked to remove salt
1 medium russet potato (about 1/2 pound)
2 plump garlic cloves, finely minced
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup half-and-half or light cream
1/2 cup poaching water from cooking the baccalà
freshly ground black pepper to taste
Recommended Equipment
• A heavy-duty electric mixer with the paddle attachment or a food processor
When the baccalà is sufficiently soaked, cut it into small pieces—6 inches or so—and put them in a saucepan or deep skillet with at least an inch of water to cover. Bring to a boil, set the cover ajar (rest it on a wooden spoon set on the rim of the pan), and cook at a steady bubbling boil for 20 minutes or more, until the cod is easy to flake but still has body and shape. Don't let it start to break apart. Lift it out of the cooking water, and let it drain and cool in a colander. Reserve a cup of the cooking water.
Meanwhile, rinse the potato but leave it whole and unpeeled. Put it in a small pot covered with cold water. Bring to the boil, and cook steadily until you can easily pierce the potato with a knife blade.
Let it cool, and peel it.
Set up the electric mixer and flake all the fish into the bowl. Beat with the paddle at low speed to break the fish up more; drop in the minced garlic, and beat at medium speed while you pour in half the olive oil very gradually in a thin stream, then add the potato and incorporate it; continue beating at low speed as you gradually add the rest of the oil.
Now raise the speed to high and whip the fish to lighten it.
Reduce the speed to medium and incorporate the half-and- half gradually, then whip at high speed again. At this point the whipped cod should be smooth and fluffy, almost like mashed potatoes but with texture. If it is very dense, you can thin it with the cooking water (but be careful: too much water will make it too salty).
Finally, season with pepper and beat it in to blend. If you use a food processor instead of a mixer, follow the same order of additions, and process as needed to form a light, smooth spread. Put the spread in containers and store sealed, in the refrigerator, for up to a week. You can also freeze baccalà mantecato; the texture will not be as creamy, but it will have good flavor and makes a delicious pasta sauce
Jim T. December 31, 2015
Thanks for your help and the recipe
Regine December 31, 2015
As far as I am concerned, I could make the brandade de morue i.e., on a Monday, and it would still be good days later. So if you want to serve on a Saturday, I don't see why you could not make it 2-3 days before.
ChefJune December 31, 2015
I'd look at it this way: How far ahead would you make mashed potatoes? This is basically the ne plus ultra mashed potatoes, imho. Granted, the salt cod has to be soaked for at least 2 days to de-salt it, but other than that, I'd make it the day I planned to serve it.
Nancy December 31, 2015
Haven't made it in a while, usually do it day I plan to serve.
Mark Bittman says several hours or max 1 day before serving.
Recommended by Food52