Brandade Croquettes

January  1, 2010
4 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Makes about 16 croquettes
Author Notes

I’m not big on resolutions in general, but if there’s one thing I’ve really been working on and would like to continue to do going forward, it’s to do more with less. As with many people in this country, 2009 was a fairly lean year for us. I was already in the habit of cooking most of our meals at home, which was a definite advantage as our occasional dinners out all but dried up, and I found myself trying to get more creative with stretching pricy ingredients like proteins, as well as with repurposing leftovers. These croquettes were my attempt to “save” some leftover brandade that I made and that I wasn’t 100% thrilled with. Happily, this do-over was a success, and made for a delicious New Years’ Day snack. I suspect I’ll make these often in 2010, serving them over greens or alongside a big salad for a light but satisfying meal. —lastnightsdinner

What You'll Need
  • For the garlic confit:
  • 1 to 2 heads garlic
  • 1 splash extra virgin olive oil
  • For the brandade croquettes:
  • 1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold or similar potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 pinch kosher or sea salt, more to taste
  • 2 large to extra large farm eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk, more to taste
  • 2 to 3 fresh bay leaves, or several sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/2 pound salt cod, soaked overnight in several changes of water
  • 1 bunch garlic confit, plus garlic-infused oil
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 2 cups fine dry breadcrumbs
  • 2 cups grapeseed or other neutral oil for frying
  • 1 pinch flaky sea salt for serving
  1. For the garlic confit:
  2. Preheat the oven to 300° F.
  3. Separate the cloves from the head(s) of garlic, peel the cloves, and place them in a single layer in a small, shallow, ovenproof baking dish.
  4. Add just enough olive oil to cover the cloves, then place in the oven and cook 45 minutes to an hour, until the cloves are very soft.
  5. Cool the garlic and oil, then transfer into a covered container or glass jar. Store in the refrigerator for up to one week.
  1. For the brandade croquettes:
  2. Cook the potato in a good amount of salted water until tender. Drain, let the cooked potato dry out briefly, then add to a mixing bowl and mash or rice the potato. Crack the eggs into a bowl, add a pinch of salt, and lightly beat them. Stir the beaten eggs into the potato until well incorporated, then set aside.
  3. Place the cod in a pot, adding the bay or thyme and enough milk just to cover it. Bring to a simmer and cook over medium heat until the cod flakes easily with a fork. Remove it from the milk and set aside.
  4. Add about 1/2 cup of the warm milk to the potato mixture, stirring well. Mash some of the garlic confit to a paste (8-12 cloves, or to taste), and add it to the potato mixture along with 2-3 tablespoons of the garlic-infused oil and the lemon zest, beating the mixture well until it is fairly smooth.
  5. When the cod is cool enough to handle, break it up with your fingers into very small pieces and add to the potato mixture, stirring well to incorporate. Taste to adjust seasoning, adding additional garlic or salt if desired.
  6. Pinch off small amounts of the mixture and roll into balls about the size of a golf ball (the mixture will be pretty sticky). Spread the breadcrumbs on a plate or platter and roll the croquettes in the crumbs to coat. Heat the oil until it shimmers, then fry the croquettes a few at a time until golden brown. Drain the croquettes on paper towels, sprinkling them with flaky salt as they come out of the hot oil.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Kitchie
  • TasteFood
  • shayma
  • Savorykitchen
  • gluttonforlife

14 Reviews

beejay45 May 13, 2015
Love a good Brandade! I'd leave my garlic raw because we like it that way around here. ;) I've never thought to make croquettes with it, but those look so delicious I may give this a try. Thanks!
Kitchie August 3, 2013
wow! This is like a dressed-up version of the little cakes I make out of leftover "fish and brewis," a dish I fell in love with in Newfoundland. (Traditionally salt cod with hardtack and salt pork... but I use potatoes and bacon, and add onions. I also make a vegan version with sautéed brussels sprouts instead of salt cod, no bacon. Also great fried, using just a bit of soy milk, no eggs, and gluten-free breadcrumbs.)
jenblossom January 22, 2013
Thanks - there is an error in the recipe. Should be 1 1/2 lbs of potato, not cups! And yes, 2-3 bay leaves, not cups.
Kristen M. January 22, 2013
The recipe should be updated now -- thank you!
TishNYC May 30, 2011
I think there's an error in this recipe, plus I'd like to make a couple of suggestions. One, I think you meant 2 to 3 bay leaves, not cups of bay leaves. Two, when I made this which I did yesterday, had I added both 1/2 cup of the milk plus the olive oil, to the mixture, it would never had held together enough to form balls. Even using only 1/4 cup milk and 1 T of the oil, it was extremely soft and the best I could do was make patties. My suggestion is to start with a little of each and then go from there, adding more if needed.

And three, depending on how successfully you soak your salt cod, you may not need a single bit more of salt so I'd taste before adding even another pinch.

But the flavor was simply fabulous and with the above adjustments, I'll absolutely make this again. Brava!
Ante February 7, 2010
I've been wanting to make croquettas de bacalao for a long time time. This recipe looks very good. I plan to try it next week. I have been on a bacala binge since Christmas and have been making different recipes almost every weekend. The one I am cooking tonight is a Sicilian version. My favorite so far has been the traditional Croatian Christmas Eve version with potatoes.
TasteFood January 17, 2010
I love the sound of this recipe! I just purchased some salt cod, which is not always easy to find, so grabbed it when I saw it. I've been looking for a good recipe to make and this sounds great with the garlic confit. What is your dipping sauce?
lastnightsdinner January 17, 2010
Thanks! The sauce is mayo with a little sherry vinegar whisked in, and smoked paprika sprinkled on top for color. If I had planned ahead a bit better, I would have made a proper aioli with sherry vinegar :)
shayma January 17, 2010
i really like croquettes, i like the addition of the bay leaf and lemon zest in yours. the photo is beautiful, as always. Sorry Jen, that i dont have anything new to say, but what more can you say to someone who takes such amazing photos all the time? x
lastnightsdinner January 17, 2010
Aw, thank you :)
Savorykitchen January 10, 2010
going to try these this week - I made baccala this summer when my CSF yielded an overabundance of codfish - can't wait to see how it works here.
lastnightsdinner January 10, 2010
I hope you like them! Do you have a recipe for making your baccala? We've got local cod available at our farmers' market now, and I'd love to try to make my own.
gluttonforlife January 3, 2010
Cannot WAIT to try these as soon as I'm done with my juice fast! That box of salt cod has been haunting me from the back of the fridge for ages...
lastnightsdinner January 3, 2010
I hope you like them! I haven't worked with salt cod too often, but I was super pleased with this dish :)