Feast of the Seven Fishes #1: Brandade Crostini

Feast of the Seven Fishes #1: Brandade Crostini

by BiteSizedJessica on December 19, 2012

Brandade © 2012 Jonathan Meter

Hello! We’re back! It’s been months and months of BiteSized absence, and Jonathan and I are so glad to kick off a new year of BiteSized a bit early with a few posts celebrating food, photography and the holiday season. Over the past six months, Jon and I lived and breathed wedding plans. We organized transportation, wrote menus, made homemade party favors, stuffed gift bags, and made one extremely hefty trip to CostCo for supplies, the bounty of which I actually feared my mother’s Subaru would not be able to carry home (we made it). The wedding was beautiful and the weather cooperated better than any of us could have hoped.

Now that we’re back to reality in the city, we’ve been brainstorming new ideas for BiteSized and also wanted to do something fun for the holidays. This year, during the week before Christmas, we’ve decided to do a menu celebrating the traditional Italian Feast of the Seven Fishes.  Along with our dear friend and talented chef Alexis Delaney, we comprised a BiteSized Seven Fishes Feast, with recipes that could be served in succession as a meal or which could stand alone as canapés or dinner for two (or ten!).

For our first post, we created a traditional Bite – butter toasted baguettes with Brandade and a lemon-herb salsa. Brandade is a mixture of salt cod and potatoes, cooked in milk and whipped in a mixer to create a light, fluffy, super savory filling that can be breaded and fried, baked, used as a spread, and much more. We would bread and fry them at the restaurant where I used to work, and serve them as an amuse bouche. I would always sneak them when they had just come out of the frying pan – hot, salty and not too fishy, they were the perfect bite. Here, we didn’t fry the brandade but instead topped it with chives, parsley and lemon. Served warm, they’re so delicious. Stay tuned this week for six more fish bites!

Brandade Crostini
(Makes 24)

¼ lb salt cod
3 cups milk
½ lb russet potatoes
1 small bunch parsley
1 small bunch chives
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tbsp good olive oil
1 small french baguette, sliced

What to do:

          1. In a small pot, coveer the salt cod with milk and cook on very low heat until softened.
          2. Heat a pot of water and peel the potatoes. Roughly dice the potatoes and cook until tender. If you have a ricer, you can put the potatoes through that when they’re finished – if not you can mash them with a potato masher or fluff them with a fork.
          3. When the cod is ready, strain it out of the milk (save the milk). Using a spatula, fold the potatoes into the cooked cod, using the milk to slightly thin out the mixture. I reheated the brandade in a pot right before spreading onto the crostini.
          4. For the salsa, chiffonnade the parsley and mince the chives. Zest the lemons into long curly strands and mix the herbs and zest with the olive oil.
          5. Slice the baguette into rounds. I toasted the bread in browned butter in a frying pan, but you could also toast them on a sheet tray in the oven, lightly drizzled with olive oil.
          6. Spread or quenelle the brandade onto the crostini and top with salsa. Serve while still warm!

Crostini © 2012 Jonathan Meter

© 2012 Jonathan and Jessica Meter

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

julianaloh (@bilbaobab) December 25, 2012 at 9:51 am

Always a fab idea for canapes for an aperitif! These are stunning!

BiteSizedJessica December 25, 2012 at 12:35 pm

Thanks Juliana! So glad you’ve enjoyed these posts!

Lauren, Ephemerratic December 30, 2012 at 7:51 pm

The only salt cod I’ve seen is petrified in salt, and I thought needed soaking over a day and multiple water changes. What kind of salt cod did you use to skip this long step that I’d rather avoid?

BiteSizedJessica January 8, 2013 at 12:50 pm

You’re right Lauren, the cod does require soaking and a bit of a rinse, I’ll have to add that into my recipe. Thanks!

Lauren, Ephemerratic January 8, 2013 at 1:11 pm

Whew, for a minute there I thought you knew about some sort of magic salt cod that I’d missed out on!

Sonia - L'Exquisit January 31, 2013 at 2:29 pm

Today I prepared these crostinis and they were delicious. Thanks for the recipe!

BiteSizedJessica January 31, 2013 at 11:20 pm

Sonia, so glad these turned out well and that you enjoyed the recipe!

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