Gateau aux Brandade de Morue

November  6, 2010
0 Ratings
  • Makes 12 cakes
Author Notes

Me was surprised when Queequeg had a fine bottle of port delivered to the table. I didn’t know him as a drinker. He looked at me and smiled, “Don’t be so surprised. I’ve lived a long hard life in this brave new world of ours and besides I want to talk about the Bounty.” I says, “What’s there to jib about we was both there and we both seen with our own two eyes what happened.” “Yes we were,” he said, “but history is spreading a different tale and I want the real story to be clear in my mind.” I says, “I would just asoon it be a bit blurry me self, you know me hates the human cargo. I can’t stand the pain of hunger and watchin men writhe in a state of near starvation no matter what they did, and that is, if they did anything at all. I would risk jumping ship as soon as set sail for Botany Bay again. Funny thing is, I knows Cap’n Bly was right and Fletcher was wrong and you do to. You know as well as I, and we even talked about it, that they was bunking together. It was a lovers quarrel and Fletcher just couldn’t take the barbs Bly was thrown’ at em. First thing you and I ever noticed about Fletcher Christian is he was the thinnest skinned sailor we ever seen. Put that up against Bly’s inability to keep his mouth shut when he needed to, well, it was fire on the mountain, a prairie wind, and smoke on the water. I can’t believe we made it to Botany Bay without Fletcher mutinying. I am glad we were on a one way voyage to another ship and didn’t get caught up in the mutiny after they left Tahiti. You and I both remember Fletcher falling for the Tahitian and that just burned in Bly’s craw. So he forced everyone on the ship to set sail and Fletcher just couldn’t stand the thought of being on board with Bly. Bad part is Fletcher didn’t get up the gumption to do something about it before ‘e set sail. Sure could a saved a lot of heart ache. Glad I wasn’t on the ship then but it ain’t hard to figure how a mutiny happened. All I can say, with those two cat fightin’ it gave me the time to sneak the debtors in the hold food they otherwise wouldn’t have got. Gave me the opportunity to keep ‘em from dyin’. Sneakin’ them the brandade de marue on tack was one the best things I ever done.” —Bob the sea cook

What You'll Need
  • 1/2 pound center cut salt cod, rinsed and drained in cold water 5 times over 24 hours
  • 1/2 pound fresh cod, tilapia, sole scraps
  • 2 Irish cobblers potatoes or russets, medium sized, peeled and cut in half
  • 10 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 hard boiled egg, sieved
  • 2 egg yolks, whites reserved
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig of fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley, minced
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • sea salt and fresh ground white pepper
  1. Place the salt cod, potatoes, garlic, water, milk, thyme and bay leaf into a pot. Bring it to a boil reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes and salt cod are tender.
  2. Add the fresh fish as the potatoes become tender and let it just cook through. Strain. Remove the bay leaf and sprig of thyme.
  3. Add the above to a food processor and pulse until smooth. Don't overwork it though. Dump the puree into a bowl and add the yolks, parsley and the sieved hard boiled egg. Mix to combine and then season with salt and white pepper. Taste and reseason if necessary.
  4. Once the puree has cooled and thickened, while they are cooling whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks, make the puree into 12 patties. They will be fragile so use a gentle hand.
  5. Coat the cakes with flour, then dip them into the egg whites to coat and then into the bread crumbs.
  6. Fry the patties in butter over medium until they are brown on both side and warm in the center. Serve.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • ChefJune
  • Aimee Simmons
    Aimee Simmons
  • Amanda Hesser
    Amanda Hesser
  • TiggyBee
  • luvcookbooks

6 Reviews

ChefJune May 16, 2017
I'm familiar with Brandade de Morue served more as mashed potatoes than cakes. But what a great way to use the leftovers!
Aimee S. April 28, 2016
You are an awesome story teller Bob the Sea Cook...
I am going to try this recipe...
Amanda H. November 25, 2010
Hey Bob -- you must be very, very old! You've been writing recipes since the 1870s. Great to see you resurface.
TiggyBee November 23, 2010
Me thinks Bob the sea cook spins a good yarn.
The recipe sounds good, too!
luvcookbooks November 7, 2010
I'm saving all your recipes for the stories AND the recipes. Never made brandade but now feel empowered. Can you expound on the best type of salt cod?
mrslarkin November 6, 2010
And I thought Deadliest Catch was riveting.